Has anyone come across coverage of the West of Scotland University media bias report in the mainstream media? I can’t see it anywhere and don’t suppose BBC Scotland discussed it either. Isn’t that in itself remarkable…a Scottish university produces a report on a year-long study of news and finds a disturbing trend showing bias in what is a regulated industry – broadcasting – including the taxpayer funded BBC, and no one in the world of journalism in our country thinks it’s worth telling the public.
That’s a subject worth academic scrutiny all by itself…what principles do the media adhere to in judging items, who decides and what criteria are applied. I would certainly have suggested a follow up to the report and asked BBC management for a response. I’m surprised the National Union of Journalists hasn’t used it to claim the imbalance is down to cost-cutting, or perhaps they will. I remember on a previous occasion when Professor Tom Devine complained about Radio Scotland’s output, we decided to do the story and had to fight for a week with our own management to get them to agree to go on air to defend Radio Scotland. I think I said at the time they broke producer guidelines themselves demanding to know what would be said and what questions would be asked. I wonder when we will see the deeper more informed journalism promised from the Referendum Unit, or is this it? (There is a series of audience debate shows planned for different locations but this is hardly innovative. Why not set our greatest minds to work on what will happen to Scotland Yes or No in opinionated, authored pieces designed to inspire people on both sides? I’d like to hear a psychologist or anthropologist on why Scots are reluctant to believe in themselves as a nation – uniquely in the world. What is the genesis of this and is there any other nation like us? What is the point of the Union today and why have so many Unionists been trapped by history lying about our wealth? Can we examine exactly what a Devo Max would deliver? And should we be hearing from the BBC in depth research on the information provided so far and the running of the campaigns…including John Robertson’s report)
The print media normally devour anything to do with the BBC and are besotted with it. Many of them detest it and regard it as the opposition and here is a tale of it making the cardinal mistake of political bias, not someone’s assertion but evidence-based. Yet no-one picks it up, preferring bland Putin remarks about Scotland not being his business to a troubling Scottish issue.
The report gives the lie does it not to the Better Together posturing about their struggle against the forces of the Scottish government and how they were outgunned on the propaganda front and remember the risible efforts by Johann’s adviser Paul Sinclair to say BBC Scotland was a Nationalist front.