Not for the first time BBC Wales shows itself to be a very different kind of organisation. Today, they posted this:
Of course, had Scotland performed as badly as Wales has in failing to control the Covid outbreak, BBC Scotland might have been more keen to let us have the above comparison.
Scotland has, thanks to our collective efforts and the actions of our devolved government, done much better than the other parts of the UK, so you won’t be seeing that graph on Reporting Scotland or hearing those data discussed on Good Morning Scotland or by John Beattie.
Instead you’ll get the raw data with no context to tell you that the trend is down or that the level is only half of that in England. It wouldn’t be in the public interests, your interest.
Using BBC Wales as a mirror has been useful many times before.
On Monday 21st, MSM_Monitor spotted the BBC double standards, in only BBC Scotland and opposition parties seeing the need to ‘politicise a health briefing during a pandemic‘ and effectively ‘provide a platform for the new Scottish Tory leader.’
BBC Wales did not do the same to their Labour FM and there was, to my knowledge, no pressure from the pro-independence opposition demanding the right to provide ‘other voices and perspectives‘ as Donalda MacKinnon, BBC Scotland director claimed were needed here.
Yesterday, we could see evidence of the same double standards in action.
In Covid-19 in Wales: What do the stats tell us? we find this:
We seem to be bombarded with different measures, but what do they mean and how does Wales compare with other parts of the UK?
The point is clear: Compared with much of England, Wales is doing not too badly.
On the same day, BBC Scotland offered us Coronavirus in Scotland: Where are the latest cases?
The word England does not appear at all. To my knowledge BBC Scotland does not indulge in such comparison.
When I make such comparisons, as I often do, to highlight relatively better performance in Scotland, accusations of statistical meaninglessness, schadenfreude and whitabootery arrive.
So when I write:
Look, over the six months of the pandemic, the infection level has been 35% higher [5 849 per 1m in England compared to 4 315 per 1m in Scotland] and the death level has been 45% higher [658 per 1m compared to 458 per 1m].
‘You can’t compare England and Scotland. They’re too different’
‘None of that matters. Scotland is still not good enough.’
In the wake of BBC Scotland’s Disclosure series misrepresenting the deaths in Scotland’s care homes:
the excellent MSM_Monitor has drawn attention to the clearly different agendas of BBC Wales under Labour and BBC Scotland under the SNP.
I was reminded of previous examples and the value of building up a portfolio of the evidence to counter the defence of it being accidental.
So, working backward, see this from April 1st 2020 and note the choice of image they have chosen to associate with the covid-19 deaths:
Depoliticised in Labour Wales.
Politicised and demonising in SNP Scotland.
On the 30th October, BBC Wales reported on a Norovirus outbreak closing four hospitals and two care homes like this:
Depoliticised in Labour Wales but in the previous month in Scotland:
The classic example of politicised and personalised reporting by BBC Scotland.
Then earlier in September 2019, on a different topic, drug gangs, bias by omission:
While BBC Wales reported:
Police forces across north Wales, Merseyside and Scotland have launched a series of dawn raids targeting “county lines” drugs gangs. Searches were carried out at 24 properties at 07:15 BST in Flintshire, Conwy, and Anglesey in north Wales, and in Liverpool and Scotland. North Wales Police said more than 300 officers from three forces have taken part in the operation.
and Police Scotland had been reporting the problem from January that year:
The charity Crime-stoppers is today 14th January 2019 launching a campaign to highlight the pain and suffering that criminals from English cities are inflicting on vulnerable people in Scotland’s rural and coastal towns.
BBC Scotland did not touch the story.
Returning to BBC Scotland’s troubled Disclosure series, in December 2018 they were pursuing their preferred quarry, old folk who will tell sad stories to camera:
BBC Scotland’s team, fresh from following the wrong lorry of calves to Spain, had taken considerable risks by accessing the online waiting list target data from the NHS Scotland Information Services Division and then interviewing old folk over a cup of teas and an empire biscuit.
In sharp contrast BBC Wales Investigates had exposed the secret mountain village location of a cell of violent thugs whom the Home Office wants to ban:
Contrasts with the reporting of BBC England’s reluctance to even mention ministers, far less use a photo of them is covered here: