I want no-one to be homeless ever, anywhere. And I want to live in a country where national government and local government and local charities and communities and voters all strive to end homelessness. And I would criticise severely any government – SNP-run or otherwise – not working hard to address this!
Although of lesser importance on a basic human level, I am also glad to have this information from TuS because it calls out a potential additional example of ‘bias by omission’ by corporate media and especially the BBC in Scotland. (Have we not a right to expect more of the BBC than from the corporate media?)
The charges against our (so called) public service broadcaster mount by the day as evidenced – I emphasise ‘evidenced’ – by TuS! IMHO TuS has assembled over years now evidence of the following, in no particular order:
– BIAS BY OMISSION – this is important because my understanding from academic literature is that in terms of public (and therefore voters’) perception, it takes many ‘positives’ to overcome a single media ‘negative’ on an issue. (Candidly it’s a notable event in my household when Reporting Scotland presents a positive news story that is politically significant!)
– NEGATIVE FRAMING – including negative messaging in headlines in online articles which only towards the end of the text MAY provide balance.
– FREQUENT FAILURE TO PROPERLY ‘LOCATE’ NEWS STORIES – it is commonplace for the BBC in much of its UK news and current affairs output to present stories about England, including negative ones, as if they were happening UK-wide. (Radio 4’s Today programme is notable for this.)
– FAILURE TO PROVIDE UK CONTEXT on negative reports about Scotland e.g. on the impact of 10+ years of Tory austerity.
– FAILURE TO PROVIDE UK PERSPECTIVE through comparison of a situation in Scotland with the same situation in other UK nations with devolved (therefore limited) powers and with the situation in England whose government has ALL powers.
– APPLICATION OF DIFFERENT EDITORIAL POLICIES – most readily evidenced by comparing how an ‘issue’ is covered in terms of its politicisation (negatively framed headlines; associated with pictures of government ministers; a platform provided to opposition politicians) on the BBC News website for Scotland compared for example to coverage of the similar issue elsewhere in the nations of the UK
– AMPLIFYING THE ABERRANT – rarely informing also on the more positive ‘norm’.
Formal complaints to the BBC have no discernible impact, lead to no change. Am I, are we here, shouting into a void? Anyone with innovative idea/s on tactics to have more of an impact?
I’ve heard it said that the BBC in Scotland has a diminishing audience. I am less concerned about the size of the BBC’s audience as a proportion of the total electorate in Scotland. I am more concerned about the size of its audience as a proportion of the number of those independence sceptics/opponents in Scotland who potentially are still persuadable to support the dissolution of the Union. If the BBC is having a ‘restraining’ effect on changing the views of the latter then the BBC’s editorial stance is important and the BBC’s output is a problem.