I should be able to relax but I still get mad when the men above, and others, lie about the performance of the Scottish Government. My anger derives from a fear that some listeners or readers might believe them and be put off support for independence.
I should know better. For years, I taught undergraduates about media effects. There are virtually none. Politicians, parent groups, teachers and social workers, the police and lawyers have, throughout history, campaigned against the supposedly corrupting effects, on especially our children, of comics, heavy metal music, video nasties, punk music, TV wrestling and computer games. There is no evidence that any of these have caused even minor changes in behaviour. They were all what some call moral panics.
There are perhaps only two major observable media effects. Ironically, the increased, 24-hour, consumption of news reporting seems to have increased reporting of depression/anxiety. Fuelling that increase in anxiety levels has been an increase in the reporting and dramatising of extreme violence even though actual crimes of violence have been falling for more than a decade.
So, does the constant anti-Independence, anti-SNP and anti-Nicoal Sturgeon reporting have any effect. It seems not.
Evidence from What Scotland Thinks, compiling the results of multiple surveys, reveals little sign of fluctuation triggered by, for example ‘SNP civil wars.‘
Here are some extracts in graph form:
So, despite the headlines, trust in the FM has actually gone up a bit.
So, despite BBC Scotland tales of ‘slow starts’ and being ‘behind the curve’ on vaccinations, support for independence fluctuates as is normal with a sample of only c 1 000, but the trend is stable.
There are many more. If you can show any media effect, you get a 5 year free premium subscription to Talking-up Scotland.