Scottish Government to congratulate The Inverness Courier on its Dual The A9 campaign
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The Scottish Parliament is set to discuss not one but two motions praising the Inverness Courier’s Dual the A9 campaign after it scooped – alongside The Metro – a top national award.
The campaign included a frontpage seen by more than a million people online, which was repeatedly held up in Holyrood, the A9 Crisis Summit and securing “cast-iron” promises from First Minister Humza Yousaf.
Highland MSPs Fergus Ewing and Rhoda Grant both praised the reporting saying it “exemplifies proactive journalism at its finest” which showcases the paper’s “unwavering dedication to the Highlands region and its residents.”
A motion in parliament can function in different ways but is generally seen a way for an MSP to raise awareness of an issue, suggest a topic for debate, recognise a group, business or individual or agree parliamentary business.
The first motion tabled was by Mr Ewing and is backed by 18 MSPs, including former leadership candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, since The Courier won the News Media Association’s Making a Difference Award for the Dual The A9 Campaign.
It states that the parliament believes the reporting “exemplifies proactive journalism at its finest; applauds the newspaper for what it sees as its unwavering dedication to the Highlands region and its residents and for championing the cause of dualling the A9, a project that it considers is vital for the region's connectivity and development.”
The motion continued: “The journalistic excellence of The Inverness Courier's team, whose reporting and advocacy, it believes, has been instrumental in advancing the Dual The A9 campaign.”
Commenting on her motion, Mrs Grant said: “The Courier has done a fantastic job in raising awareness of the desperate need to dual the A9.
“The Scottish Government promised the road would be dualled by 2025 and then promptly kicked it into the long grass. Meanwhile families continue to be left devastated by the deaths of loved ones who have lost their lives on this road.
She added: “The Inverness Courier is ensuring the voices of the people in the Highlands and Islands are being heard and I wholeheartedly congratulate everyone involved in continuing to bring this to the government who must now make this their top priority.”
Full Text of the Fergus Ewing Motion
That the Parliament congratulates The Inverness Courier on winning the News Media Association's "Making a Difference Award" for its impactful "Dual the A9" campaign, which, it believes, exemplifies proactive journalism at its finest; applauds the newspaper for what it sees as its unwavering dedication to the Highlands region and its residents, and for championing the cause of dualling the A9, a project that it considers is vital for the region's connectivity and development; commends the journalistic excellence of The Inverness Courier's team, whose reporting and advocacy, it believes, has been instrumental in advancing the "Dual the A9" campaign; recognises what it sees as the important role of local media outlets like The Inverness Courier in a democratic society, and encourages them to continue their invaluable work in informing, engaging, and advocating for their communities.
Full Text of the Rhoda Grant Motion
That the Parliament congratulates The Inverness Courier on winning the News Media Association (NMA) Making a Difference award 2023 for its Dual The A9 campaign; notes that the NMA acknowledged the campaign's viral front page, which it understands gained over a million views; considers that the campaign is well-informed and engaging, and that it effectively highlights the need for the road to be dualled; notes that, as part of the campaign, the team at The Inverness Courier organised a leadership debate at which the issue of the A9 was raised, organised an A9 Crisis Summit in Inverness, and has provided a dedicated section on its website; acknowledges that the campaign has been hailed by the NMA as an exemplary instance of the essential role that journalism plays in society, in shining a light on such an important cause; commends the team members at The Inverness Courier, who, it understands, have vowed to continue the campaign until the A9 is dualled, and congratulates everyone involved for their work in keeping this issue in the spotlight.