CAMPAIGNING. Standing up for what matters. Shouting loudly.

This should be bread and butter stuff when it comes to the media.

What issues matter to readers? What sort of society do they want? What can journalists do to help bring about change?

The media has the power to amplify its readers’ collective voice to try to make a difference. Here, at The Herald, we take that responsibility very seriously.

We have a long history of campaigning – most recently with our work on the Covid memorial – and this week we launched our Christmas appeal, which we believe is of vital importance to families across the country, especially as the cost of living crisis worsens. And we believe it matters to you.

Working with Scottish Book Trust, we are asking you, our readers, to donate money to help buy books for children whose families are using food banks this winter.

Every child across Scotland deserves their own book, and every family deserves the opportunity to share, together, the joy that books bring.

We are delighted to be working with Scottish Book Trust, a charity with a long record of delivering life-changing work, and whose patron, author Val McDermid, helped launch our campaign on Monday.


Our Christmas appeal is in conjunction with Scottish Book Trust

Our Christmas appeal is in conjunction with Scottish Book Trust


Writing passionately in our pages, she said: “Poverty is like a cancer – if you survive it, the memory of it never leaves you. The damage cuts deep, and the fear of a recurrence shadows the rest of your life. Children suffer most of all.”

This winter, many families will be struggling. The strains have been well publicised, including food costs and soaring electricity and gas bills.

With not enough money to eat or meet these energy costs, finding cash for new books this Christmas will likely – and understandably – not feature on many priority lists.

But we, at The Herald, know this is not fair. Many of us were inspired to enter the media world through access to books and the education that provided, and we place immeasurable value on books being part of the lives of every child.

I do not need to spell out how important and fun it is to read, to soak up the wonder of illustrations, to be told a story, or to read your own. But it is devastating to think of some children being denied these defining moments.

“Families dependent on food banks need more than just a full belly,” McDermid wrote for us. “They deserve an imagination filled to the brim. The chance to change their destinies starts here.”

To learn more about our campaign, and to make a difference to the lives of children across Scotland this winter, please visit

Thank you. Catherine Salmond, Editor.