How is this ethical journalism – news manipulation to deceive?

And yet in Australia 9 000 miles away?

By stewartb

We are learning that the ‘Better Together’ scaremongering playbook of 2014 is to be revisited on the people of Scotland. No surprise there!

We also have signs of the length that the corporate media in Scotland will go to make their distinctive (mission-driven?) contribution to these scares. This is to highlight one blatant example. It’s not even from the irredeemable Daily Express but, sadly, from the Daily Record. Fool me for hoping for better!

The background

Within hours of the UK Prime Minister visiting Rosyth, the CEO of Babcock International is commenting on a threat to his company’s future at the dockyard if Scotland chooses independence. Again, anyone surprised? This is all so obviously contrived given the timing: candidly, the nature of the intervention paints this senior industrialist in a very poor light.

The Daily Record’s contribution

Online, dated 16 February 2022, we read this headline in the Record: ‘Rosyth dockyard owners threaten to take business to England if Scotland votes for independence’.

This is a straightforward statement: it is reporting a senior industrialist making an explicit, causal link between a vote for indy and a major business then leaving Scotland.

Unable to find a transcript of the CEO’s statement, we need to rely for the ‘record’ on what appears in the Record’s own article. But the article reveals that the headline is a distortion at best, deliberately duplicitous at worst. The impact of headlines on readers are well known. Does the Daily Record take no responsibility for fairly, accurately informing its readers – or does its Unionist mission trump everything?

Contradicting its own headline

What follows are extracts (with my emphasis) taken from the Record’s article: compare the words and phrases below with those in the headline. Then try to reconcile!

1) ’The owners of Rosyth dockyard have threatened to move their operations to England IF THEY WERE NOT MADE WELCOME in an independent Scotland.’

2) The CEO is quoted saying: “I think in reality there will be plenty of warning if the vote were in favour of independence” and “I don’t think there is anything that we can’t manage as a company.”

3) “If we had to replicate this (presumably the Rosyth facility) in England because we were told we weren’t welcome here – which I think would be a bad mistake for Scotland – but if that were the decision, we can replicate this in three years, and the time window of negotiations is longer than that.”

Reputational damages?

Probably none – except with me, perhaps with you! But then I don’t matter to Babcock.  No doubt this CEO has burnished his reputation with the PM and done his duty by the Union!  And as for the Daily Record – is this how the newspaper intends to conduct its journalism at such an important time for Scotland?

I find it wholly unacceptable that the Record judged this headline as justified when reporting Babcock’s intervention which, frankly, is based on a ridiculous straw man argument.


5 thoughts on “How is this ethical journalism – news manipulation to deceive?

  1. If they choose to leave.
    Remember the first thing to be moved to england is the six submarines.
    Before as much as another bolt or the nut.
    Or a penny piece.
    Nothing else moves without the subs leading the charge.
    Of coarse with the CEO in the first con tower

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A different slant….. yes it is despicable ‘journalism’ if that is the right term but it is just what we all expect and merely shows the hands of ‘newspapers’ (again if that is an appropriate description) and what we will accept as accurate reporting in the future. If some had any doubts before they now know.
    Beyond that it is odd that on one hand Bojo is ruling out another Indy Vote altogether but yet has clearly given the nod to a CEO to come out with this statement which seems unnecessary if its ”not going to happen”. Strange but very welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All out of the same playbook as at the last referendum there will be businesses declaring doom if the vote is YES and businesses quoted as agreeing who were never asked, predictions of organisations closing, moving, scaling down operations, informing their workforce if they vote YES the factories will be out of business, the right wing and so called left wing print press will invent headlines and the TV and radio media will dutifully report that as fact, and it’s always easier to believe doom is coming than good stuff, and why is that? because Scotland in particular is conditioned to expect doom, and why? we’re ruled by another country so powerlessness is built into the behavioural psyche by the ruling country in order to make ruling easier, ask the 60 odd countries who were once ruled by the so called British empire and are now independent because they got sick of living under rulers who threatened them with doom if they ever dared assert themselves

    No other country once ruled by the British has ever returned to that state or asked to, why? every one of them is far happier conducting their own affairs their own way and every one of them is financially the better for it

    Scotland was its own country a very long time before any union ever existed, plus how can it be a union when one country can overrule another or demand that its permission be sought to make decisions, or ignore decisions by the other or decide that it and only it has the power and authority to borrow money on the other countries assets then deny that country the dividend flowing from it

    Scotland is not and never has been in a union in the defined sense of the word, Scotland has been a subjugated colonial territory of England, only right next door instead of overseas

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Same headlines in the Courier ‘Warning YES vote may see yard quit Scotland’
    I don’t get the ‘if we weren’t welcome bit’ at all. Nobody is saying they aren’t welcome, on the contrary I’m sure all Scots would be happy for them to remain here.
    This is just blatant politicking to get maximum headlines, at a time when Boris visits Rosyth and rubs his hands knowingly over a welded joint as if he knew whether it was a good or bad weld.
    Project fear again, I think there will be a lot of this in the coming months.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Aye Stewart, “the ‘Better Together’ scaremongering playbook” is much in evidence these days, they must have gotten wind Indyref2 is about to hit the fan.

    Much as with the recent Pensions bunkum, the coordination between media outlets and political opponents of SNP is obvious, they’ve “put the band back together” for the Indy Blues revival tour…

    Liked by 1 person

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