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2 covers, 2 views .. 1 future; Readers hail Record's decision to give both sides a platform.

Byline: SARAH VESTY s.vesty@dailyrecord.co.uk

THE Daily Record's unprecedented decision to give both sides of the independence debate a chance to edit our paper has proved a hit with our readers.

Alistair Darling was in the editor's chair as Better Together produced their "NO THANKS" message on our front page on Thursday.

And yesterday, our page one carried Alex Salmond's "YES WE CAN" headline as the nationalists - like the No camp before them - took the opportunity to engage with you directly through our pages.

And our bold move in democracy and journalism seems to have worked, with our readers - the most important people in the debate - welcoming our efforts to make sure they know both sides of the argument.

James McFarlane, 52, from Edinburgh, said: "It's gotten quite heated now but people need to make sure they have all the information.

"Seeing some balance in the Daily Record is good. I work in the oil industry and have a few worries because I work for an English company. I'll be voting No."

David Gibbon, a chartered surveyor from Morningside, Edinburgh, said: "I did see the front pages on Facebook. I think it's very important that both sides of the debate are put across. It's completely divided my family but I've made up my mind and I'm voting No."

Emma Stark, 24, from Stirling, added: "All my friends have been talking about it on Facebook and debating it. I think it's so important that both sides of the debate are put across in the media."

Student Charlie Jones, 18, said: "It is good to see some balance being put across now. I'll be voting Yes." John Paul Kelly, a 29-year-old Yes voter, believes punters must seek answers from both campaigns.

He said: "I think we will benefit from becoming independent but it's important everyone makes up their own mind. It's good to see balance in the paper."

Bob Leishman, 61, who is voting Yes, said: "Of course it's important to have both sides heard. I saw the front page on Thursday and I think a few people were quite surprised to see both sides put across. It's good for the undecided voters."

Our move also caused a storm on social media, as readers took to Twitter to give their view on our experiment to hand the first seven pages to Better Together on Thursday and Yes Scotland yesterday.

The results were also picked up abroad, with France's Courrier International highlighting Darling's front page online.

But the pro-union campaigner's efforts were not immune from media criticism. The Independent newspaper's i100 Twitter feed complained Darling's front page was too "busy", featuring 18 people backing a No vote.

But Better Together supporters picked out the Bob Geldof interview as a highlight. Duncan Hothersall got into the spirit of Geldof 's profanity-littered interview, Tweeting: "I f****** love this f****** f Bob Geldof piece in the f****** f Daily Record".

Yes voters spread the message across social media ahead of Salmond taking charge of Friday's seven-page section.

One Twitter user, Steven Neish, wrote: "Whether you're planning to vote for or against at the #indyref you should all read the Daily Record today AND tomorrow. At least."

I think it's very important that both sides of the debate are put across EMMA STARK All my friends have been talking about it and debating it on Facebook BOB LEISHMAN I think people were surprised. It's good for the undecided voters
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 6, 2014
Words:575
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