A new current affairs show has been announced by BBC Scotland. The weekly half-hour show will be called ‘Timeline’. It begins on January 26th.
The programme name is a play on the term used to describe messages that appear to a user on twitter. The head of news at BBC Scotland, Gary Smith, said Timeline would be “the weekly centrepiece of a new engagement with our audience”.
According to the BBC, “the public would help shape the agenda of the programme which is to have a distinctive online and social media presence.”
How the public will “shape” the agenda of the programme is not explained although the mention of online and social media suggests this may be the conduit within which we, the public, set this agenda.
The show is presumably Donalda Mackinnon’s answer to what she acknowledged was a “deficit” in BBC Scotland news and current affairs. What we know of the show suggests Donalda’s deficit may in fact increase.
The two hosts are themselves part of the deficit. Glenn Campbell and Shereen Nanjiani are part of the old guard which have produced the political output that has led to the erosion of trust in BBC Scotland.
Nanjiani’s Saturday radio show is a perfect example of the elite culture that pervades BBC Scotland. Guests are chosen from a tiny pool that rarely if ever challenges the main stream narrative of the day. The show is saved from the radio booby prize by the dreadful Kaye Adams phone-in, a show that merits a licence fee rebate.
Below is an example of the media consensus that Nanjaini’s show indulges it. The first voice you’ll hear is uber_Unionist and former former Lib Dem candidate Christine Jardine who loathes the SNP.
The choice of Glenn Campbell can only have been made by someone with no knowledge of his questionable past record when it comes to political reporting. This is the guy who thought it acceptable to rip up the SNP manifesto after the 2007 election. He pursued a relentless pro-Unionist agenda in the aftermath of the Megrahi release, notoriously describing Kenny MacAskill as “The Toast of Tripoli”.
During the independence referendum Campbell was taken to task by Luxembourg government officials after misrepresenting the country by claiming it was opposed to Scottish independence.
During last year’s Scottish election, Campbell suppressed Kezia Dugdale’s tax rebate U-turn on Reporting Scotland before misleading listeners on the same issue the day after on Good Morning Scotland [A complaint about this is still traversing the BBC’s complaints process even now].
The man is arguably the reporter trusted least by supporters of independence. He positively thrives when given the opportunity to promote anti-SNP smears.
Below is an infamous clip of him hectoring and interrupting Nicola Sturgeon in 2010.
The message sent to licence payers by installing Nanjiani and Campbell as the presenters of their new weekly current affairs programme is ‘business as usual’. If Donalda Mackinnon wants to address the deficit she acknowledges is there, then this is not a good start.
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