The charges against our (so called) public service broadcaster mount by the day

By stewartb

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.

6 thoughts on “The charges against our (so called) public service broadcaster mount by the day

  1. Thanks Stewart.
    Until broadcasting is devolved to Scotland, by any avenue, and while broadcasting is a reserved power to Westminster, this will not change. It would never be in the interests of the English government to hand over control of broadcasting to the Scottish government and people, they control the narrative, they propagandise with impunity. They gas light the people of Scotland, twist facts and they lie.

    Still many people in Scotland are not fully aware of which governmental powers, (and most are in the hands of the powerful in London) are outwith the jurisdiction of the Scottish government. That needs to be remedied pronto. Devolution is not working for Scotland, it’s a joke in fact, a chain around Scotland’s neck, and ever more tightened by the English government. They will choke Scotland in order to keep taking Scotland’s massive wealth, these British nationalists show no mercy, and their BBC lackeys do exactly as they are told or else. But then,was the BBC ever the democratic free speech platform anyway, rhetorical question.

    I’ve just said in a long winded way what so many in the past have said about the so called media, and the BBC work only for the English government.
    Thanks prof John great to see you at Scotland at 7 earlier, interesting reporting and discussion indeed.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Aye, good to see promotion of another of Stewart’s comprehensive comments.

    On the “Anyone with innovative idea/s on tactics to have more of an impact?” this is by far the greater puzzle.
    Despite exposure on TuS, MSM_Monitor and elsewhere, BBC Scotland know they can do pretty much as they please without sanction, a case of “who guards the guards”.

    The only way I see of the “evidence” being exposed to the wider public is for those in positions of power and in the public eye go on the offensive and publicly attack this disgraceful behaviour.
    Politicians have long relied on the media as a tool of the trade, so attacking them is counter-intuitive, but I suggest they should begin citing the multiple examples here and elsewhere of BBC dishonesty, the media would find it impossible to ignore, and the public would be exposed to the mechanics of what they do and why.

    BBC Scotland’s latest wrinkle in their long running anti-Passports propaganda campaign is a good example of BBC hypocrisy, the “evidence paper” they had long ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The BBC is NOT a news service.
    It is a news management service on behalf of the British State.

    Labour say they will stay “neutral” in any Irish unity referendum —
    did you see that reported on BBC Scotland? NO!
    Surely of relevance to us!

    Labour Wales have a Constitutional Commission establish to look at the options for Wales, including independence.
    Did you see that reported on BBC Scotland? NO!
    Surely of relevance to us!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. stewartb “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?”

    Innovative ideas. . . . . .

    Print of short articles that expose BBC “news” for what it is.
    Then stuff them through letterboxes. . . . .

    National front pages. . . . . Make sure they are prominent on supermarket news stands. . . . . Lots of people try to hide them so they must be doing something!

    The National . . . Buy a copy or two at supermarkets so that they keep ordering copies.

    Then there are billboards etc

    Every little helps

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The BBC is a lost cause ! It has long since lost any impartiality !

    It has become , like the BBC during the Second World War , with Government propaganda as its guiding principle .
    When watching ( rarely ) its ”Scottish” arm it is best to assume that most of what is broadcast is slanted and will be deliberately misleading .

    Lack of trust is its Achilles Heel and will be its downfall !

    Like

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