What can you say about Reporting Scotland? A national disappointment is probably the most polite thing. Ah well … let’s see what it’s been up to now.
BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme is very selective with stories it covers in relation to Brexit. The pending national disaster is the independence referendum in reverse. Negative Brexit is pushed down the priority list or ignored altogether.
Ignored you say? Let me show you what I mean. Take a look at the clip below. It’s from BBC Scotland’s early morning news programme from Wednesday October 11th.
It’s the first item. Scotland’s Brexit minister is appearing in front of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee. The appearance hasn’t happened yet, but it’s sure to result in newsworthy statements. Reporting Scotland will cover it … won’t it?
Half an hour after the item above aired, the following news appeared on the Scottish Government news site.
I had a look at the story. It listed a host of Scottish based companies each of which had expressed concern about the impacts of Brexit. There was little doubt that this was a significant story.
Two strong Brexit stories. I waited for the flagship tea-time Reporting Scotland. It duly arrived at the scheduled time of 18:30. It did indeed have a Brexit item.
That was it. Mike Russell’s appearance before the Scottish Affairs Committee was nowhere to be seen. The warning from Scottish businesses had also gone AWOL.
How did a nondescript answer from Theresa May on the Common Fisheries Policy make it as a major news item whilst the other two didn’t? Aren’t the concerns of Scottish companies worthy of reporting? Isn’t the appearance of a Scottish Government minister in front of the Scottish Affairs Committee worthy of mention on BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme?
During the snap general election I had an exchange with Nick Eardley. I argued that Reporting Scotland had a fixation with fishing when it came to Brexit and was using the sector as a proxy against the pro-EU SNP in target constituencies. My opinion was dismissed by the young reporter who went on to all but prove my point.
Whatever the truth of the matter, there’s little doubt that two strong stories were ignored on Wednesday. Reporting Scotland instead chose a bland item that contained literally no new information on an issue Reporting Scotland has covered numerous times.
Oh, BBC Scotland eventually covered the Brexit warning from Scottish companies. It appeared on the main online news page well after Reporting Scotland had aired. The story was ninth in order of priority.
Oh, if you want to know what was said at the Scottish Affairs Committee, you can view the proceedings here.
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