To draw attention to an example of a carefully crafted headline – an example of BBC Scotland’s public service!
The problems on Scotland’s railways caused by ASLEF’s dispute with Scotrail will affect fans attending the international match at Hampden this evening. Scotrail has issued a statement on its website which provides information and clarity over what services it can and cannot provide.
Its Head of Customer Operations has said: “We’re adding extra carriages to services to help customers get to the game; however, trains are expected to be very busy, so we’d encourage people to travel to the stadium early if they can.’
And for return journeys: “Customers should be aware that the last trains of the night will depart Mount Florida before the final whistle, so we urge fans to plan ahead, check their journey, and CONSIDER THEIR TRAVEL OPTIONS FOR HEADING HOME.’ (my emphasis)
BBC Scotland frames this rather differently on the BBC News website. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-61726717
This is what we find online:
1. The headline: ‘ScotRail advises fans to leave Scotland game early’.
2. The BBC’s report of the statement from ScotRail’s head of customer operations referred to earlier – ‘consider their travel options for heading home’.
The headline is simply untrue! It would of course have been a crass statement to make. It would have been likely to annoy if not rile fans more than the absence of a train service IF Scotrail had actually said ‘we advise Scotland fans to leave the match at Hamden before the final whistle.’ So unsurprisingly, Scotrail didn’t say that!
That doesn’t stop BBC Scotland performing its ‘public service’!