BBC Scotland’s targeting of Scottish institutions intensifies as focus turns to ScotRail

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.

Police Scotland

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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10 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s targeting of Scottish institutions intensifies as focus turns to ScotRail

  1. Davy

    Yep, the railway did miss a few of its targets the first few months of the year, of course the fact we were having a bad winter which was contributing to this appears to have been missed by the media ? (beast from the east 1, 2, 3)

    Whats next from media, “baby boxes catching fire” ??? surely they couldn’t go that low.

  2. john

    The next is , “how is the alcohol price increase in Scotland working ” . It is a WEEK today since it was brought in . BBC GMS went out onto the streets to see how it is working . In true BBC style they managed to find someone say people would cross the border to get cheaper booze , (don’t they do that in England by driving all the way to the continent to get cheap booze ) , then one poor man sitting outside a pub smoking said he felt like an outcast , another terrible idea . Yes , the good old BBC , with the Tories , the haters of Scotland trying to improve itself !

  3. Robert Graham

    Just for fun i had a look at the Sats of these major failings by the train operator , and one of the Major failings was CCTV operation and coverage also the cleanliness of stations and toilets i never managed to get to punciality ,eh the whole idea of why rains run in the first place .

    After seeing CCTV as a major failure i gave up NIT PICKING dosnt come close i give up , i am at a loss as to what bleedn cretin compiles firstly the pages of useless data that will never see the light of day unless they are being used as a stick , a bloody pointless exercise just like trainspotting for eskimos .

    The endless repeat showing of the BBC hatchet job on Police Scotland must be setting new records of the times it has been shown , how this repeat manages to be included on the BBC News channel baffles me News it aint after the first 5 showings .

  4. Independent Woman

    The reports concentrated on the unpopularity of Queen Street Station. The fact that it is undergoing renovation was glossed over. Buried in the report was the fact that Central Station was in the top 10 of stations in the UK.

    Balanced reporting? I think not.

  5. millie

    Great article.

    Re : Scotrail –

    The catastrophic effect of the ‘wires being pulled down’ just outside central station by a train, led to central Scotland’s rail network being paralysed – all politically very convenient during a bank holiday weekend.

    It is also very reminiscent of the ‘train breakdown’ right outside Waverly station last year, this also brought central Scotland to a standstill, at a politically convenient time – the very day Humza Yousaf was making a statement to Holyrood about perceived negative Scotrail issues.

    I see you have linked to the Transport Scotland ‘Squire’ figures – Recently, BBC Scotland seems to have ceased ‘linking’ to these ‘official reports’ in their articles – they had promised to do this in the interests of transparency. (See on their website, their ‘Why you can trust the BBC’ article).

    Finally, with regard to the ‘worst station in Britain’ – this is a strange one.

    Transport Focus suddenly released this information on a ‘bank holiday’ Monday – they said it came from their September – November 2017 survey – (this ‘major’ rail survey was fully reported (slanted) by BBC Scotland in January 2018). As far as I can see from the 2017 survey results – no mention was made of specific stations in the data?

    Yet, yesterday Transport Focus issued an article on their site which ranked stations, seemingly based on their 2017 major survey – but gave no link to the research data for ‘specific stations’.

    Furthermore, on 4th May 2018, Transport Focus issued a statement reviewing the stats for the Scotrail entry in the ‘2017’ survey – they said it is to do with methodology issues. They don’t appear to have reviewed any of the other rail providers/companies. I don’t understand why?

    The media is intent on deflecting our minds from focusing on gaining independence. – Don’t allow them.

    1. Clydebuilt

      Millie . . . You state that the wires were pulled down by a train, that’s the first I’ve seen any explanation of the wires coming down. Where did you find this out.
      I wonder how common is it for a train to damage the overhead wires?

      1. millie

        Clydebuilt, I have no technical knowledge at all on trains – but I noticed this thread with comments from someone who was on the train.

        If you scroll right down to Eva’s comments and subsequent comments further down – I can’t verify this.

        As an aside, last night the Hyndland line came to a standstill during rush hour, and this morning a line fault between Cambuslang and Rutherglen caused rush hour chaos.

        Strangely, Alex Hynes, the head of Scotrail was appearing at a Holyrood committee this morning for a grilling.

        Over the past 5 days a ‘perfect storm’ for Scotrail has gradually evolved.

  6. Dan Huil

    I am confident more and more people in Scotland are realizing just how anti-Scottish the bbc is. Don’t pay the bbc tax.

  7. Big Jock

    They interviewed a bunch of Jakies on GMS this morning. They all thought minimum pricing was BAD , who would have thunk it!

    Perhaps they should hand out free booze and people can just drink themselves to death for nowt.

    We live in a country where trying to stop self harm is seen as a breach of liberties.

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