A BBC Scotland reporter has hit out at criticism of the broadcaster’s coverage of the Westminster ‘Power Grab’, insisting it has been covered adequately.
Nick Eardley, who is the Westminster Correspondent, tweeted: “I mean… we’ve only covered it repeatedly for well over a year. I’ve lost track of the number of tv pieces I’ve done on the issue – explaining several different ways.”
Eardley was responding to criticism from football pundit Michael Stewart who accused the broadcaster’s political reporters of failing to fully explain the issue to the public.
Stewart himself had tweeted: “Perhaps political commentators should try that too they might even enjoy it. Rather than “folk just aren’t interested” IT’S YOUR JOB TO INFORM THEM”
The pundit’s tweet was a reference to claims from Eardley’s colleague Sarah Smith that the Scottish public were not interested in the ‘Power Grab’ dispute.
Smith, who is the BBC’s Scotland Editor, said: “Nicola Sturgeon rarely shies away from a fight with Westminster. It’s generally good politics for her to say she is ‘standing up for Scotland’ against ministers in London.”
“Her problem is that this argument has not caught voters’ attention. The right of the Scottish Parliament to have a definitive say over regulations governing the use of pesticides does not appear to cause great concern to Scots.”
Eardley’s response was challenged by another social media user: “Don’t think Michael accused you directly. Why are Sarah Smith (and others) allowed to repeatedly play down the importance on TV, online and radio. I’m constantly hearing that the Scottish public don’t care. It’s coming from the BBC and it seems to be a coordinated line.”
There has been widespread anger amongst the pro-independence community at what appears to be a coordinated attempt by BBC Scotland to downplay the ‘Power Grab’ issue and to portray the Scottish government as being ‘under pressure’.
The claim from BBC Scotland that the Scottish government “was under renewed pressure” also appeared in multiple news bulletins on Radio Scotland.
A string of reporters and presenters have claimed the Scottish public are not interested in the issue.
Another to push the line that the public are not interested was BBC Scotland’s Political Editor, Brian Taylor, who last week claimed the issue was not fuelling interest.
BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme has repeatedly played down the issue. A key exchange between Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon was dropped from Reporting Scotland in favour of an announcement from the Scottish Tory leader that she was pregnant.
Last week a statement from UK Labour leader Jeremy Corby backing the Scottish government stance and calling the Westminster government stance a ‘Power Grab’, was ignored by Reporting Scotland, despite the story being headlined by BBC Wales.
Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, BBC Scotland chiefs insist the station is balanced and fair when it comes to the reporting of Scottish politics.
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