BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme Reporting Scotland is once again in the dock after it misrepresented comments from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the issue of Brexit.
On Thursday afternoon, programme presenter Sally Magnusson told viewers “… the First Minister said Brexit would be hugely damaging, and that those who supported it would never be forgiven.”
However a clip on the same programme revealed that Nicola Sturgeon had not targeted ‘those who supported’ Brexit, but had in fact explicitly singled out the Tory party.
In the clip, Nicola Sturgeon was heard to say: “The interests of, not just Scotland, but the whole of the UK are going to be deeply damaged, and that will be the Tory legacy to Scotland and to the rest of the UK and I think future generations will never, ever forgive them for it.”
The misrepresentation was removed from the evening broadcast of the programme with presenter Sally Magnusson making clear the First Minister had singled out the Tory party in her criticism. However, bizarrely, the programme’s headline introduction contained the clip of Nicola Sturgeon making the comment, with reference to the Tory party edited out.
The misrepresentation of the First Minister’s comments follows similar examples of apparent manipulation of political news on Reporting Scotland with respect to the SNP.
This week witnessed Reporting Scotland’s most senior presenter Jackie Bird claim the Scottish government had “intervened” in the case of Professor Clara Ponsati, the former Catalan Govt Minister who is facing possible extradition to Spain.
The claim that Nicola Sturgeon had intervened in the case was challenged by SNP supporters who pointed out the First Minister and her government had explicitly made clear they could not intervene in the case.
During the recent heavy snowfall, Reporting Scotland claimed the First Minister had criticised HGV drivers after vehicles became stranded on motorways. Footage shown by the programme appeared to support presenter Jackie Bird’s claim.
However, not shown was additional footage of the First Minister in which she very clearly goes out of her way to make clear she isn’t criticising drivers. BBC Scotland was eventually forced to apologise and admit it had misquoted the SNP leader.
Arguably one of the most subtle appeared in the introduction to the flagship news programme last year, on the day that former SNP MP Michelle Thomson was cleared of any wrongdoing over the selling on of properties by her firm. A clip of a judge appeared to be passing critical comment on the former MP.
However the clip of the judge related to a different story entirely. The broadcast prompted fury on social media with many people accusing the BBC of having deliberately spliced the two clips together in order to give the appearance of guilt on the part of the former MP.
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