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SEC58: Calum MacDonald from Positively Scottish

Calum from Positively Scottish had an idea to create a news website that focused on the positive stories that come from Scottish communities all over the world.


23rd March 2017

In a world so deeply immersed in social media, where critique on current events seems to appear in a never-ending stream,  and twenty four hour rolling news channels are available at almost every turn, one could be forgiven for thinking that our lives are in danger of being overwhelmed by a constant torrent of bad news and negativity.

If like me you are prone to such thinking, then it should be heartening to know that you’re not alone. Calum MacDonald from Positively Scottish had similar thoughts, and it was this thinking that led him to create a news website that is dedicated to telling positive stories about ordinary Scots all over the world.

A former editor at The Herald, Calum launched Positively Scottish in June 2016 with the aim of providing a positive alternative to the mainstream media. Working alongside a team of 15 freelance journalists Positively Scottish posts at least one story a day from Monday to Saturday. Each story is a combination of long reads, features and profiles, all of which cover a wide range of topics and are distinctly optimistic in their outlook.

Calum set the website up as a Community Interest Company and social enterprise, sticking closely to the old social enterprise ethos of putting any profit or external funding back into their journalism, ensuring that freelance contributors are paid for their work.

Choosing to forgo the luxury of an office, all of their writers are based in communities across Scotland; a conscious decision to ensure that Positively Scottish’s content is not just community driven and generated, but harking back to the days when journalists were out and about finding stories within their local communities.

Two themes really tie this site’s work together: a desire to demonstrate how people in challenging situations are finding solutions to many societal issues, and a focus on stories which are uplifting.

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