Herald Diary enters the 21st century – better late than never


NEVER let it be said that the old and venerable institution that is The Herald Diary is not keeping up with the times, however reluctantly.

When one of the young people working the internet here (shaggy beards, tight jeans, and an unhealthy attachment to their cellphones) mentioned memes, Lorne Jackson jumped on it.

Or he did, once he consulted the Merriam-Webster dictionary where he found this definition: Meme MEEM name. 1: an idea, behavior, style or usage that is transmitted from person to person within a culture. 2: a fun or interesting item (like an image or a video with captions) or a kind of item that is widely distributed online, especially via social networks.

Now every day Lorne chooses his favorite meme and it appears on heraldscotland.com at noon. Don’t worry if you’re a loyal paper buyer – anyone can view it online for free and you’ll find it in the same location as the Journal – in the Voice section, under Journal.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

The origins of the Herald Diary are lost in the mists of time and no one here knows when it actually started, although our best bet is the 1980s with Tom Shields. At that time The Diary, or as everyone knew, the Tom Shields’ Diary, appeared in the Herald twice a week. New editor Harry Reid intended to increase this to five days a week in the late 90s when Ken Smith joined Tom.

Incidentally, Ken was the latest reporter to claim a dinner suit on the expense as invitations to awards events at hotels such as the Albany, the Hilton and whatever the hotel is called The Thistle that week rained.

Now the column is edited by Lorne Jackson, following Ken’s retirement, but the idea remains the same. To make people smile, even laugh, in a political and pandemic world.

In other words, The Herald Diary is a selection box of wacky, weird and quirky stories and pictures with a surreal Scottish twist.

Every day we provide fun and original stories – both true and great – from Scotland’s past and present, often contributed by readers.

There’s a mix of celebrity stories, plus gossip gleaned from Holyrood and Westminster, with some sporty threads and arts-based anecdotes. All told in the inimitable style of the Journal; tongue firmly pressed into cheek, eyebrow raised in wonder.

In this way he became an integral part of both the Herald and Scottish society as a whole. Late film star Sir Sean Connery was a fan. Once he phoned the Journal office hoping to discuss one of our tales.

To sum up the newspaper, this is Scotland talking to itself. And, like most people who make a habit of talking to each other, the diary is more than a little quirky.


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