WE can’t leave changing Scotland to the politicians. It’s up to all of us. That’s why we created Skotia media for a better Scotland. We want to use campaigning journalism to help win independence.

We don’t have the resources of the mainstream media or big political organisations. With the most basic of kit and technology, we’ve produced hundreds of videos in our living rooms and at big independence events. The response has been phenomenal. In the past year Skotia has had almost one million views on our work. We’ve grown our team, and this week we’ve launched a Patreon campaign (www.Patreon.com/Skotia) to build our work even further with viewer donations.

All our success is thanks to the love and generosity of the independence movement. The Scottish Independence Foundation gave us financial support for our first event, which brought together young people from across Glasgow to debate the issue of housing. It was a vital springboard. We then hosted live discussions in Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh and Dundee. SIF have supported independence groups across the country. It’s this support for grassroots campaigns that will win the better country we all want.

We know that winning independence is going to require a media campaign on a scale we’ve never seen before. We have The National – but Unionists can count on support from the vast majority of media groups, sympathetic voices of British broadcasting, as well as the huge resources of Westminster political organisations.

We know that this media bias enrages many in Scotland. Over half the country now supports independence – so shouldn’t those voices be equally heard? It’s not enough to ask politely and wait. The need for change is too great, with so many suffering due to

Tory policy and the impending threat of Brexit. So we have to do it ourselves.

Our planned public events are on hold due to Covid, but those opportunities will return. So much media can be done online now. We’ve published discussions on the lockdown, community campaigners protecting the vulnerable during the crisis, and how we can create a better Scotland going forward. The media we’re producing reflect the better country we want to create.

An independent Scotland will be more international, so the Scottish media should become more international too. Robert Somynne has brought that approach to Skotia. He has a fascination with global politics, diplomacy and military affairs. These are ideas that Scotland will have to develop as we join the global community.

Ruby Zajac has produced work for Skotia focused on New Scots and the shameful record of the Westminster Home Office. She’s also spoken out for the need for greater equality for women, in our schools, and by ending homelessness. This is Scotland’s political future: new voices determined to improve our country for everyone. Ask yourself how often you see that determination represented in most media? We need more!

Of course our focal point is independence. There’s a live debate on how to guarantee that right to decide our future.

Legal detail is key. We have more legal options than many realise. This view is picking up steam across the movement.

After completing law school, I have set out the truth about Scotland’s right to hold a referendum. As Westminster tries to block Scotland’s right to decide, knowing our real legal position will be vital in the years ahead.

This is the type of work we’ve been publishing and we want to grow further. The Scottish Independence Foundation helped us start our journey. By launching a Patreon page this week we’re building an organisation and community that will be ready to help win Scotland our independence.

We’re doing this professionally too, with a proper governance structure, fulfilling company registration requirements, and following accountancy bookkeeping practice. We may be volunteers, but we should all maintain professional standards if we want to get the job done.

After all, we don’t just need trust across our movement – we need to win the trust of those who still have doubts about independence. That’s who we want to reach. We know that people who get information online are more likely to support independence. It’s because online you can see and hear the voices of ordinary Scots with extraordinary talent, courage and intellect. How can we not have confidence in our country’s potential when its voices are free to speak?

In just under a year, we’ve achieved a great deal. As the independence campaign steps up a gear we’re full of ambition for the road ahead. Without the people, journalism is nothing. Our work will stand with the people of Scotland who want a better future.