Not levelling with their viewers

Alerted by stewartb, I had a look at last night’s Reporting Scotland.

In the introduction to a report by Douglas Fraser, on bringing life back into communities damaged by the pandemic, the presenter seems to be suggesting that what follows is somehow part of the UK Government’s ‘levelling-up’ ambitions.

What follows then is an account of projects planned and funded by the SNP Scottish Government, by the SNP-run (not mentioned of course) Glasgow City Council and by the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.

Of course, they can insist that they did not actually say the UK Government was responsible for any of these projects. They were just using their levelling-up concept to help us understand the notion.

Hmmm. Try asking your neighbour who watched it, where the money will come from.

5 thoughts on “Not levelling with their viewers”

  1. Weasel words will surely follow to cover this latest propaganda, the only plus point of such misrepresentation is they cannot extract an SG/SNP baad from it, from Pacific Quay the equivalent of high praise indeed.


  2. I wish to give a balanced view of the article- though, as the FM says I’d have to look at the context. In this case, I was looking through my recorded programmes with the sound on mute. Seeing the ‘headline’, I unmuted, so I only caught the article itself.

    I found there were 2 of me listening:
    – Straightforward Me
    – Cynical Me

    Straightforward Me
    Having said “the Government”, it did go on to say that it was a joint venture between ScotGov and Glasgow Council. It even had the leader’s name and political affiliation – and she got to say that the benefits of the project would be felt by many places outside Glasgow.

    Cynical Me
    I noticed that they actually said “The Scottish Government” instead of “the Government”, but I’m listening for it these days. Would I have heard it if I hadn’t been? I’m not sure I’d’ve noticed.

    So, for me, there are questions:
    – Perhaps they’re learning?
    – Is this a genuine attempt at providing a bit of balance?
    – Maybe they realise that they’ve gone too far?
    – What are they up to? I didn’t hear it in context. If it was presented as part of a wider “levelling up” article, they seem to be getting a bit subtler.
    – Should they be given the benefit of the doubt? I know, I know! But I ask because I remember a discussion about what ‘balance’ was during the Brexit referendum on the Today programme.

    One of the questions was is it truly balanced to award equal airtime to someone you know isn’t telling the truth? He was, effectively, pointing out that there wasn’t true balance then. Perhaps – just perhaps – there are still a few ‘unconverted’ by the system in there. Maybe me being naive, but if I don’t ask (looking for objective proof), I’m in danger of becoming them.

    Both Mes though that it looks like an excellent programme (the development, not the Beeb!) and I hope it comes to fruition and that there are more like it.


  3. Yes, BBC Scotland has taken to the use of vague terms like ‘government’ and ‘UK’ if it seeks to damn Scotland and the SG, by implying they are part of this.

    On the other hand, I actually though Douglas Fraser’s piece on Glasgow City Council’s Clyde regeneration plans was pretty fair and, even, upbeat. His interview with Susan Aitken, Leader of GCC, was unaggressive and without interruption.

    In the past year, I have read pieces by some pro-independence journalists who have spoken well of Mr Fraser’s journalistic professionalism. Professionalism also includes the ability to be a ‘hack’, which I do not mean in a pejorative sense, but in the sense that they can write pieces to suit particular editorial specifications and audiences. I remember working with a former BBC journalist to produce educational material and she turned some of my orotund pieces into much more concise and punchy pieces which maintained rigour. I was impressed.

    I have never spoken to Mr Fraser.Our only encounter was at the fish section of Waitrose where he displayed some facial expressions of impatience because, my wife reported, I was ‘dithering’ about my selection. She was on his side!


    1. I agree. Mr Fraser’s contribution was excellent.

      My ‘problem’ – as the above blog confirms – was not at all with him but with how the studio ‘anchor’ introduced – framed – Mr Fraser’s piece.


  4. Not just the BBC of course today (tues) on Sky their reporter asking a Tory MP about the additional household restrictions in place announced by Sturgeon as a feed for him to say they were in his view not required. All designed of course to undermine the Scot Gov’s actions as you would expect from a very compliant English media. Getting pretty sick of this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.