There's no denying it, it's been quite a ride. Landmark moments, big successes, plaudits, praise and (dare we say it) just a few lows.

But we're not talking about Brexit – this weekend marks one year since the launch of The Herald on Sunday.

And what a year it's been – from the moment Scotland's newest quality Sunday publication burst on to the media scene on September 9, 2018, we've been making a big noise.

In that time, The Herald on Sunday has been at the forefront of some of the country’s most important stories. Our reporters have set the national news agenda week after week on topics including health, politics, environment, land use and justice.

We even managed to secure the prestigious title of Newspaper of the Year at the Regional Press Awards in May – an achievement almost unheard of for a paper just a few months old.

Along with ground-breaking exclusives on the scandals affecting both Glasgow’s flagship super hospital and Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids’, we have successfully campaigned for nitrite-containing meats to be banned from schools and hospitals, revealed that Glasgow would have to sell off many of its prized properties to cover its staggering equal pay bill and exposed the politicians using controversial gagging clauses to silence staff.

We have not only reported issues affecting the central belt, with our launch edition focusing on the crisis of a crumbling ferry fleet what was putting island communities and tourism at risk. We have followed the problems with community buy-out schemes, and highlighted the concerns among members of the fishing industry in rural areas.

Our political coverage of the Brexit chaos of the last year, as well as Labour's anti-Semitism problems and the ferocious debate around gender recognition reforms has regularly sparked public discussion and set the agenda for the weeks ahead.

Editor-in-Chief Donald Martin said: "For a paper so young, it has been wonderful to watch The Herald on Sunday achieve such great things.

"The publication has become a worthy addition to the Herald brand, and has allowed us to achieve our goal of giving our readers the best insight, analysis and opinion, without agenda or bias, seven days a week.

"I would like to thank the team who produce such great work every week, but I would also like to thank our loyal readers for helping us to create such a strong seven-day brand, both in print and online."

Here are a few of the stories we’ve broken in our first year.


Since a 10-year-old boy died following an outbreak of Cryptococcus linked to bird droppings at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in December, the Herald on Sunday has been at the forefront of investigating the problems at the scandal-hit hospital. Since the turn of the year, we have revealed internal documents showing the concerns raise by employees as far back as 2014, the £7m neurological theatres lying empty after failing safety tests and the concerns by senior sources that the design focussed more on innovation than patient care and safety. The Scottish Government has since launched in inquiry into the problems at the hospital, and the Health and Safety Executive is currently investigating.

Similarly, this newspaper’s coverage of problems at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids’ hospital started long before the delays to the facility opening were announced by health minister Jeane Freeman in July.

In October 2018 we revealed NHS Lothian chiefs considering taking the firm constructing the hospital to court to resolve issues around ventilation but decided against it and paid them to complete the work instead. Following Freeman’s announcement on another delay, we reported a senior trade unionist’s concerns that the facility may have be demolished and rebuilt, followed by further revelations by the health secretary that a further two years’ worth of work may be needed before it can finally open.


On the day the UK was set to leave the European Union, and with Parliament in chaos, this newspaper produced a striking front cover demanding that MPs 'Choose Something' after numerous failed votes on Theresa May's Brexit deal. We revealed Boris Johnson's true views on Scotland ahead of his selection as Prime Minister, and that the probe into allegations against Alex Salmond covered the period during the Independence Referendum. When Labour began facing claims over anti-Semitism, this newspaper told how Jews in Scotland were considering leaving. We later detailed how senior party member sand Jewish leaders in Scotland felt Scottish Labour was unable to handle anti-Semitism within its ranks, due to complaints being jandled by London HQ.

When former MP Natalie McGarry was convicted of embezzlement, the woman who blew the whistle came forward to speak to us about why and how she had made the decision to report her suspicions of wrongdoing. Another whistleblower, who revealed conversations between several MSPs stating Nicola Sturgeon was "out of step" with her party on gender reform plans, also told us about her decision to do so.

One former employee of Joanna Cherry MP also came forward to share her experiences of working with the politician and her office manager Fraser Thompson, who were facing a probe into alleged bullying by the House of Commons officials. We were the only newspaper to reveal the nature of the complaints against the pair, which were later dismissed by investigators as not constituting bullying.

Three senior SNP figures started a national conversation over online trolling and so-called cybernats, and their role in the Independence debate. Angus Robertson, Stewart McDonald MP and Alyn Smith MEP came forward to denounce online abuse, which featured in a front-page exclusive in May.


The Herald on Sunday launched a ground-breaking campaign in March to help rid school meals and hospital food of chemicals linked to bowel cancer.

Scientists placed processed meat containing nitrites in the same carcinogenic category as tobacco and asbestos, the danger comes when food preservatives such as nitrites are heated.

Our initial story in February revealed that a majority of hospitals and councils, which are responsible for school meals, offered children nitrite-containing meat.

The revelation led to our campaign, which urged the Scottish Government to ensure that nitro-meat was removed from schools and hospitals. Education Secretary John Swinney responded weeks later when a statutory limit was placed on processed meat intake for the first time.


In April we reported a major step forward in one of the Herald’s longest running investigations: the role of Scottish spymaster Gordon Kerr in the Dirty War in Northern Ireland.

High-level security sources said that Kerr, the Scottish army officer who headed up the notorious military intelligence Force Research Unit, in Ulster, was to be questioned under caution by police investigating collusion, murder, kidnap and torture in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The most infamous double-agent working for the FRU was Stakeknife, who was named by the Herald newspapers as Freddie Scappaticci in 2003.


With more of the population diagnosed with dementia, the use of Power of Attorney, which gives another person the ability to make decisions on behalf of someone who is deemed no longer capable, is on the rise. With that comes fear of abuse of the powers.

In March we ran a story about Steven Fitzpatrick, who, with other members of his family, was being prevented from seeing his father. Steven had not been able to visit his father, Walter, for the best part of three years.

The story revealed flaws in a system which is set to be used by increasing numbers of people. Since we ran the story, Fitzpatrick has been allowed to see his father, though he is still campaigning for change.


From the moment Swedish climate striker Greta Thunberg’s speech before the United Nations went viral, we began following Scottish children campaigning for change here. These young people - whether Holly Gillibrand,13, from Fort William, Ruby, 9, from Perthshire, who, with her six-year-old brother, was the first climate striker to sit outside the Scottish Parliament – from the start revealed themselves to be highly informed.

Some went on to meet with Nicola Sturgeon and put their case to her. It was, according to Sturgeon, what she heard from them that prompted her to declare a climate emergency. The children are now asking adults to join them for their next strike on September 20.