The targeting of major Scottish institutions by the BBC in Scotland appears to have intensified.
On Monday the broadcaster headlined not one but two separate negative stories relating to Scottish railways with Queen Street Station the focus of one story and ScotRail the subject of another.
A story describing Queen Street Station as the most unpopular in the UK was deemed headline news despite the fact it has been undergoing major renovation work since last year with sections cordoned off. The story was the lead item on Monday’s Reporting Scotland.
Also targeted on the same day by BBC Scotland was train operator ScotRail with the broadcaster highlighting failed performance targets contained in a report it claimed had only “now emerged” after a weekend of disruption problems.
However claims by the broadcaster that the targets had just been published “after a weekend of disruption” were untrue. The figures had in fact been published four days earlier on Friday, before the disruption hit.
The ‘weekend of disruption’, which was presented as though the responsibility of ScotRail, was in fact the responsibility of the UK government owned Network Rail.
The targeting of ScotRail follows a similar pattern which recently saw Police Scotland the focus of negative coverage by the broadcaster. BBC Scotland was ridiculed last week after a documentary ‘A Force in Crisis’ purported to reveal the existence of a ‘secret’ Police Scotland report. The report turned out to be four years old and had been commissioned under a Chief Constable who retired in 2015.
Despite the ridicule, this weekend clips from the documentary featured in a Reporting Scotland news item which covered an unrelated industrial tribunal. The item contained attacks on Police Scotland from the Scottish Conservative party.
The item was similar to a news report from March which also featured an individual going through the tribunal process. It too featured an attack from a Unionist politician.
The targeting of Scottish institutions by BBC Scotland comes at a time when the broadcaster is facing claims it is deliberately marginalising Brexit related issues. Only this week BBC Scotland denied downplaying its coverage of the Westminster Power Grab, which involves the attempt by the Tory government to seize control of powers currently devolved.
The corporation has also denied taking sides on the same issue after it was criticised for claiming the Scottish government was “under pressure” and “isolated” over the Power Grab row. There have been claims from some independence supporters that BBC Scotland is targeting Scottish institutions as a means of diverting from the Brexit chaos for fear it will lead to a rise in support for independence.
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