STV News report looks more like an opposition party press-release

You do know about NHS England?

By stewartb

An article on the STV News website from yesterday that candidly, looks more like an opposition party press-release.

Headline: ‘Humza Yousaf’s record-breaking failure putting lives at risk’ – Labour – The SNP MSP was appointed as Scotland’s health secretary in May 2021.’

I’m left wondering if the journalist who wrote this STV piece has:

– ever examined NHS performance statistics in England, NI and Wales

– has any professional curiosity about/interest in why the NHS model across the UK is under such pressures

– has any conception as a professional of the need to, the value of placing serious newsworthy issues – and yes, the challenges facing NHS Scotland are serious and newsworthy – in context and providing perspective

– is simply ‘untroubled’ by opposition politicians in Scotland berating an individual health minister when their own parties in government in Cardiff and London have health ministers with responsibilities for health services that are facing exactly comparable pressures and performing LESS WELL on e.g. A&E metrics than NHS Scotland.

If the profession of journalism is reduced to aggregating and amplifying – sometimes just reproducing – partisan oppositional statements without adding value through the application of professional skills and resources then what is the purpose … other than a blatant political one?


6 thoughts on “STV News report looks more like an opposition party press-release

  1. ”Journalism ” has a whole different meaning today , in the Scottish media particularly .
    The skill involves taking an email of a Freedom of Information Request , preferably from a unionist List MSP , putting your name on it ( Tom Gordon usually suffices ! ) and presenting it to the public as NEWS !


  2. This is the archive of the STV article to which Stewart refers, and he’s not kidding about it looking like a Labour press release, copy and pasted…

    Curious, I looked up “Lewis McKenzie journalist”, and AS SEEN IN on Muckrack turned up this –
    ” BBC, Daily Mirror, MSN UK, Sunday Mirror, The Independent, Yahoo Canada, Yahoo News UK, Daily Express, The Times, Yahoo Finance UK, Evening Standard, Edinburgh Evening News, Irish Independent, The Scotsman, Wales on Sunday, Manchester Evening News, Rochdale Observer, Irish Examiner, Belfast Telegraph, The Herald (Scotland), The Scottish Sun, Irvine Herald, Scottish Daily Record, Breaking News, The Irish News, Yorkshire Live, The Sunday Post, Glasgow Live, Leeds Live, LancsLive, Energy Voice, Minutehack, Scottish Daily Express, Irvine Times, Cornish & Devon Post, Q Radio” – His STV link leads to the STV articles, presumably different lewis-mckenzie are employed by STW.
    A busy lad considering he looks barely out of puberty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stewart, there are at least two models of journalism.
    One is the Woodstein Watergate model where journalists gov out and investigate their story, sometimes coming across facts which are, let’s say, inconvenient.
    The other is of professional scribblers who take a press release and turn it into a story ….. sorry, report.
    I’d rather not talk about how I know about this, but much the most common is the latter. So the answer to your questions (and I agree with them – I’m all for Woodstein) is “No they dont. They write up press releases”. For instance why look up the most recent stats, even if they are relevant, when there are stats in the press release?
    The deeper problem – and this is very much one for John – is when they dont just write up a press release, but when press releases are written with enough intelligence to draw the hack on to a particular line. And even worse, when some press releases are fairly automatically spiked. Or worst of all when the journalist knowingly writes the press release in a biased, prejudiced way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote this btl of TuS on 19 April, 2021: ‘News and current affairs journalism that chooses to bring ‘perspective’ will serve the ‘public interest’. And the BBC may even agree – at least on paper! This is from the corporation’s own editorial guidelines:

      The BBC document states: “There is no single definition of public interest, but it includes freedom of expression; providing information that ASSISTS PEOPLE TO BETTER COMPREHEND OR MAKE DECISIONS ON MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE; PREVENTING PEOPLE BEING MISLED by the statements or actions of individuals or organisations.” (my emphasis)


      Why do these standards not apply to the BBC and others in Scotland? I’m still asking!


  4. Still not sure why Ofcom and these ‘journalists’ are not regularly hauled before a Holyrood Select Committee and asked to explain themselves and why in the case of Ofcom they do not take action against publishers and specifically ‘journalists’ for specific and misleading press articles such as we regularly see in the Herald and others. It is also noticeable that the ‘Sun’ has been particularly active just now on social media focussing it seems on Scot Gov ‘failures’ clearly with a view to mitigate the fall out from Tory Party cockups.


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