A BBC Scotland complaint: ‘Reporting Scotland and Ruth Davidson’s Pregnancy’

Below is a complaint submitted to the BBC on Thursday April 28th.  The complaint relates to coverage on Reporting Scotland of the news that Ruth Davidson was pregnant and the lack of coverage of the Power Grab issue that featured during FMQ’s earlier that day.


Complaint in full

On Thursday April 26th First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood saw Ruth Davidson challenge the First Minister on the subject of devolved powers returning from Brussels and the refusal of the Scottish Govt to agree to temporary retainment of some of the powers by Westminster.

The decision to lead on the so-called Power Grab row by Ruth Davidson indicated the seriousness with which the Scottish Conservative leader views the issue which threatens to spark a major constitutional confrontation between the Scottish Govt and the UK Govt.

However the highly significant exchange was not deemed worthy of coverage on that evening’s edition of Reporting Scotland.  Instead the lead story was an item covering an announcement from Ruth Davidson that she was pregnant.  The item lasted just under four and a half minutes.

The announcement from Ruth Davidson that she was pregnant was newsworthy.  She is a high-profile politician in a same-sex relationship who leads the second largest party at Holyrood.  However it was nowhere near the level of importance of the Power Grab row.

The Power Grab issue could see the UK Govt take the Scottish Govt to court.  It could see the Scotland Act being unilaterally re-written by the UK Govt.  It is potentially the biggest constitutional crisis the UK has seen since the 2014 Indyref.

The lunchtime edition of Reporting Scotland gave the exchanges at FMQ’s their deserved place, they led the programme.

By dropping the item from its evening edition, Reporting Scotland failed in its duty to inform TV licence holders on an issue of national significance and one they deserved to learn more about.

They were instead presented with a puff-piece item containing clips of Ruth Davidson making a rugby tackle, sitting on a buffalo and riding a tank.  The item’s near four and a half minute duration was nearly half a minute longer than the recent saving of the BiFab plant merited.

Reporting Scotland needs to explain why the FMQ’s exchanges were dropped in favour of a pregnancy announcement from Ruth Davidson.


Response from the Editor of Reporting Scotland received May 7th

Each bulletin that we produce assesses each story on its merits. Inclusion of a story in one edition does not automatically guarantee it a place in a subsequent edition. As the news agenda develops through its natural cycle some stories come in and others go out.

That is what happened on this particular day: coverage of exchanges in the Scottish Parliament at First Minister’s Questions was overtaken by events which included the subsequent news that afternoon that the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, who is in a same-sex relationship, was going to have a baby. The production teams on the two bulletins to which you refer – at lunchtime and at teatime – reached decisions with which I am in complete agreement.

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9 thoughts on “A BBC Scotland complaint: ‘Reporting Scotland and Ruth Davidson’s Pregnancy’

  1. Andy Donnell

    Totally support this complaint of BBC Reporting Scotland’s Lord Haw-Haw approach to their native country or what should be their native country. Maybe they should drop Scotland out of their title to give a more honest approach.

      1. Cubby

        If they are going to change their name to be an accurate reflection of their role can I suggest:


  2. Rik Ferguson

    Unfortunately, the ones you are complaining to are either (A) the ones who made the decision, or (B) are under orders from London… They are a state backed law unto themselves. Tass with a Union Flag

  3. William Pirrie

    Can give you their reply now. They will say that it had been reported on the lunchtime news which they regard as sufficient time so that accusations of bias, impartiality etc are in no way applicable to us Gov.

  4. Robert Graham

    Oh its so tempting to say some really nasty cutting comments about this tory leader but it would probably upset those of a fragile nature so rather than follow the norm of the brit-nats and their vile comments about Nicola Sturgeon ,

    I hope everything goes well for mother and baby .

    I agree with the content of the complaint and the BBC’s trivialising of the most important issue facing us for some time , this BBC keep pushing consistency of Paint labelling on beans etc as what is at the heart of the dispute between Holyrood & Westminster .

    They really believe we are stupid we know its some really important health and welfare issues under threat GM foods – Fracking – Food standards -The SNHS everything under the sun is under threat ,

    This is not just backing Westminster this is activly wilfully misleading the public on a very serious issue , Our Government should demand the heads of this BBC in Scotland appear in front of MSPs and explain and defend their actions , not a friendly chat an immediate searching inquiry into what this lot are up to , call them out and any SNP politician interviewed has to bring this up at the very start if they are interrupted say why and walk away let the public know whats going on , so far they have been too bloody timid .

  5. Harry Molloy

    Good information. I NEVER watch Reporting Scotland from Westminster’s British Broadcasting Corp. so just again underlines the bigotry of this English organisation. And underlines the reasoning for me to NOT watch it

  6. Dorothy Russell

    We are one of the very few countries that doesnt have its own news channel that isn’t state run. The BBC should be booted out of Scotland when we get our independence.

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