BBC Scotland reporter defends station’s coverage of the ‘Power Grab’

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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6 thoughts on “BBC Scotland reporter defends station’s coverage of the ‘Power Grab’

  1. Robert Graham

    Trying to single Nicola Sturgeon as the villain here really is getting to the Farcical stage , one look at the cross Party make up of the latest vote refusing consent for the proposed EU withdrawal bill should show even the BBC it was the Scottish parliament that voted to refuse consent not Nicola Sturgeon.

    The only isolated party are the Tory party but the BBC won’t hold them up to scorn the way they continually parroted she’s just being awkward the, Welsh have accepted the deal ,strangely the same line the Tories were pursuing , no connection I am sure .

    The same tactics and hectoring were used during the last budget negotiations with Westminster but that time it was all the Unionist parties as a bloc were pushing her to accept a deal , 7 Billion Pounds later a deal was agreed , these Unionist parties would have accepted any crumbs Westminster tossed their way . Trust Them Aye ok .

  2. Broadbield

    There’s a good piece by Robin McAlpine on CommonSpace re the press’s inflated opinion of itself. Applies to the BBC as well.

  3. Big Jock

    It’s like asking your enemy why they keep picking on you. They do it because we haven’t got the power to stop them doing it. So in other words if they get away with it ,and deny that they are doing anything wrong. Then they win every time.

    Of course denying doesn’t mean they think internally that they aren’t actually coordinating this. Any fool can see from their daily headlines what game they are playing. They know it ,we know but we can’t stop it.

    We are not going to change them, only independence and a clear out will achieve that.

  4. JCW

    I feel constantly underwhelmed at BBC Scotland’s reporting of Scottish issues relating to the perceived WM power grab and threat to the devolution settlement . To repeatedly report the public are not interested and unconcerned is not news but the broadcasters opinion. I wonder who the BBC are approaching about this. The BBC should be reporting factually about all news pertaining to Scotland and in particular the Scottish Parliament. Editorial decisions to omit particular news items is not acceptable in a democracy. BBC is obligated by its charter to broadcast all news. It’s up to the public to determine how they wish to use the information to form an opinion.

  5. Roy Moore

    I understand why people get hacked off with the BBC. The problem is with the charter under which they operate. They are expected to promote the cohesion & the well being of the United Kingdom. How can that possibly square with their duty of impartiality that they cinstantly use as an excuse. “Cohesion” is clearly a political standpoint. Therefore the BBC broadcasts are based on that viewpoint. Which is to support the Union. Which is why I & many others don’t watch. listen to, or read BBC news. Perhaps someone should ask Smith & Eardley about that?

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