Reporting Scotland Analysis – Week Beginning 31 July 2017

A pilot project is currently underway with the aim of monitoring BBC Scotland political output.  A key part of this project will be analysing political items broadcast by the flagship news programme Reporting Scotland.

Below is an example of how this analysis might look.  The analysis has been provided by a freelance journalist who has been commissioned by the project team.  The journalist has analysed one full week’s political output between Monday July 31st and Friday August 4th.

The analysis is accompanied by the political items broadcast that evening on Reporting Scotland. This analysis is just one strand of the monitoring project.  It is a ‘work in progress’ and thus your comments would be greatly appreciated by the monitoring team.


Monday, 31 July 2017 | NHS Staffing | Benefits Cap

NHS Staffing

In a report by Shelley Jofre, headlined negatively by Sally McNair as a report on staff shortages in the NHS “compromising patient care,” the Royal College of Nursing’s consultation – Safe and Effective Staffing in Health and Social Care – was described as the “latest in a series of warnings over staffing issues in Scotland’s health service.” Relying entirely on this one report, without any attempt at further analysis of the findings, given the expected issues and pressures arising from the nature of health care, Jofre went on to present these findings in a singularly distorted fashion.

Despite two thirds of respondents not raising any concerns over the number of registered nurses the BBC report focused exclusively on the response of the one third that did. The same was true in the case of the quarter who spoke of the lack of support workers, the “nearly” half concerned over the mix of skills, and the third who indicated the presence of agency staff – as though this was a failing – on their last shift, when the majority had no such concerns.

Under the present Scottish government the staffing numbers in the NHS had risen by the end of 2015 to a record high. Shona Robinson, the Secretary for Health, who confirmed recently that agency staff accounted for a mere 2 per cent of Scotland’s NHS cost, has stated: “the overall rate of nursing vacancies and spending on agency nurses are lower today than when we came to office.” This Reporting Scotland item ignores these facts completely.

What we are presented with, which again reflects the BBC’s over-reliance on reports and surveys, is a profoundly negative reading of statistics masquerading as news. In marked contrast to the reference to the London government in the following segment, where it is called the “UK government,” Ms Jofre unnecessarily and gratuitously quotes the Scottish Labour Party’s reaction that the “SNP government is presiding over an NHS workforce crisis.” By linking the term “SNP government” as opposed to simply the Scottish government with the negative politicking language of “warning” and “crisis” this BBC report takes a clear anti-SNP stance.

Benefits Cap

Regardless of the silence of Scottish Labour on the benefits cap in its 2017 manifesto, Labour and not the SNP – which centrepieced its fight against the cap and austerity in general in its manifesto – was showcased by Reporting Scotland in Andrew Black’s report on “Scottish ministers” and Labour taking the UK government to task on the issue. In this segment, on a subject with massive popular support in Scotland, the mere mention of the SNP – the party of the “Scottish ministers” – was wholly expunged so as to keep Labour in the limelight.

The benefits cap introduced in November 2016; reducing couples and single parent families to £348.62 and single adults to £257.69 per week, was imposed on Scotland by the Conservative Westminster government. Yet the BBC did not feel it necessary to interview a single Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP. The reason for this omission, it must be assumed, was to present the unionist parties in the best possible light in what is a pro-active and positive story – while all but obliterating the Scottish National Party from the frame.

Furthermore, nothing was made of the fact the Scotland Office declined to make comment on what was a joint SNP and Labour challenge to the British government. Nothing was made of the Scotland Office’s refusal to answer questions, as can be surmised from the report’s agenda of censoring the SNP, because this would of course put negative attention on the Conservative side of the Scottish unionist equation; thus undermining the explicit effort to bolster the image of the other.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017 | Michelle Thomson | NHS Concerns | A&E Targets

Michelle Thomson

There is frankly no other way to describe Jackie Bird’s interview with political correspondent Nick Eardley on the subject of former SNP MP Michelle Thomson than as a hatchet job. Ms Thomson, a property developer, voluntarily spoke with police concerning the possibility a solicitor she had hired, Christopher Hales, had committed fraud. Thomson committed no crime, she was never arrested or interviewed under caution, yet the BBC coverage of her “case” has been instrumental in fabricating her guilt.

At the opening of the bulletin, footage of Thomson was shockingly spliced with the following headline report on prison sentencing reform, giving viewers the impression the former SNP MP was being chastised by a judge saying, in her dramatic ruling, “What you did was truly reprehensible.”

In spite of there being “no credibly or reliable evidence against her,” according to the Crown Office, Jackie Bird repeated the BBC’s fiction that Ms Thomson had been “the subject of a police investigation.”

During the interview with Eardley, this distortion of the facts was continued. He outlined how files had been sent to prosecutors “which named Ms Thomson in relation to this case.” What he failed to mention was that she had been named only as a witness.

While from a legal point of view Ms Thomson requires no exoneration; she was never a suspect, Eardley concluded his discussion in stating that Thomson “thinks” she has been vindicated. Ultimately her character assassination at the hands of the BBC has cost the SNP a gifted MP and may still prove to have railroaded Thomson’s political career. Her only ‘crime’ was employing a lawyer.

NHS Concerns

Focus was yet again put on the NHS in the form of yet another survey; this time from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd). The consultation document in question – Improving the working environment for safe surgical care – surveyed a total of 932 consultants and trainees, of which 505 responded from across the UK. This BBC report did not discuss the provenance of the survey’s responses; subtly implying perhaps this was representative of Scotland’s NHS. Yet according to the RCSEd report most responses were from those working in hospitals in England, with only 31.5 per cent coming from Scotland.

Neither did Reporting Scotland go into an analysis of the performances indicated in the devolved areas of the NHS. Had it done this it would have noticed that in Scotland 92.6 per cent of A&E patients in Scotland had a waiting time of less than four hours – the lowest in the UK – and 87.1 per cent of suspected and first treatment cancer patients were seen within the best practice 62-day maximum waiting period.

In England, according to the RCSEd report, the number of those waiting more than four hours for A&E treatment peaked to its highest level since 2003/2004, and the maximum 62-day wait for first treatment of all cancers “has not been met for 2.5 years.” Furthermore, “the number of delayed transfers of care from hospitals reached the highest level ever recorded in England.” If anything this was a missed opportunity for Reporting Scotland to deliver a Scottish NHS good news story.

A&E Targets

Good news at last! Albeit low on the Reporting Scotland bill and only briefly covered at the end of the bulletin, Scotland’s A&E departments have met their waiting period target – having 95 per cent of patients seen within four hours – for the first time since last July. Even at its average of 92.6 per cent, as published in the above RCSEd report, this is the best functioning A&E care in the UK. Reaching the higher target is even better – exceptional even.

Only the previous evening (Monday, 31 July) Shelley Jofre, quoting a Labour Party reaction to another survey, described how the “SNP government” was presiding over a healthcare “crisis.” On this occasion the story was not politicised, thus neither the Scottish government nor any of the unionist parties were called for comment. Consequently the Labour Party was not required to explain what would appear, on the face of it, to be a significant contradiction of its previous assertion.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017 | Offensive Chants | GE Voting in Scotland | Donald Trump’s Opposition to Scottish Independence

Offensive Chants

Few will deny that singing offensive songs about a murdered British soldier is unacceptable behaviour for any group of football supporters. It is interesting, however, that a story about Celtic fans behaving atrociously in Sunderland – considering the scant coverage on the BBC of Leicester City fans rioting and chanting racist and xenophobic slogans in Madrid’s plaza mayor in April – made it to the top spot in tonight’s Reporting Scotland bulletin.

Why would this incident, when similar incidents are most often treated as a non-stories by the national broadcaster, make it to the top of the headlines on Reporting Scotland? The only conclusion to be drawn is that this story was highlighted because it allowed fans of Celtic Football Club to be presented in a particularly negative, anti-British light.

If repugnant chants by Scottish football fans are to merit headlines on Reporting Scotland then the programme will be featuring at least one each week.

GE Voting in Scotland

Next up Jackie Bird introduced a “new academic survey” which, after analysis of the independence and Brexit referenda, purports to “cast a long shadow over the general election in Scotland.” Without providing the name or origin of this survey she passed it over to the politics editor Brian Taylor to explain. He outlined how this research indicated that no less than 40 per cent of 2015 SNP voters in the “Yes-and-Leave” category switched to either Labour or the Conservatives “in equal numbers” in the 2017 general election. This apparently explains, according to the premise of the segment, why Scotland voted as it did in 2017 – though it is only a discussion on how 2015 SNP voters voted in 2017.

What we find, as we find time and again with this type of “academic” research, is that it is deeply – if not, catastrophically – flawed. The survey itself, A Tale of Two Referendums – the 2017 election in Scotland (Chris Prosser and Ed Fieldhouse), was conducted and analysed by The British Election Study – a project run by a consortium of three English universities (Oxford, Manchester, and Nottingham) – and funded by the British government via the Economic and Social Research Council. Considering, as highlighted recently by Kirsty Blackman MP, that UK government funding to Scottish universities was found to be used to gain undue influence “to save the union” prior to 2014, the funding connection between the UK government here and this research seriously calls into question the integrity of its findings.

Moreover, and more damning, the suspect methodology of the survey leads to, to say the least, misleading conclusions. At every stage of the research, the survey of the two general elections failed to take into account the fall in voter turnout. It also neglects to mention that the majority of those who did not vote in 2017 voted for the SNP in 2015. Without this essential ingredient the basic calculus of the research’s findings is forced to show a shift from the SNP to Labour and the Conservatives that did not in fact happen. Simply put, this is bad science – and it was used as authoritative, “academic” evidence showing a fall in support for the SNP by Reporting Scotland.

Donald Trump’s Opposition to Scottish Independence

Donald Trump’s comments to the Wall Street Journal on Scottish independence, where he described it as “terrible,” had to be included in the bulletin – completing the show’s opening section anti-independence troika – because, well, it’s Donald Trump. In fairness this was an utterance of the President of the United States mentioning Scotland, and so therefore had to be included, but it is interesting – in light of the discussion on it through the day – that the programme host did not take the opportunity to remind viewers that it was “the Open”, which was first held in Scotland and is still administered at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland, and not the “British Open” as Trump had said.


Thursday, 3 August 2017 | Mental Health Patients | Baby Boxes | Fishing Access (Missing)

Mental Health Patients

Health and social care correspondent Shelley Jofre delivered yet another study into the NHS, this time it is a UK-wide study conducted by the BBC itself into mental health care. When it comes to BBC Reporting Scotland’s use and over-reliance – read: weaponisation – of “research,” “studies,” and “surveys” we can’t get better than GA Ponsonby’s remarks: “Reporting Scotland thrives on these studies. A series of talking heads present their own opinion on the matter.”

Despite the NHS good news, both understated and ignored, on Tuesday – finding Scotland’s NHS to be outperforming the rest of the UK in relations to key indicators on A&E waiting times and cancer care – the BBC in Scotland keeps gnawing at the NHS like a dog on a bone.

This item opens by acknowledging the significant improvements in mental health care in Scotland, but there is no mention throughout that this has been achieved by the SNP in government. Any time the SNP is mentioned in relation to healthcare and the NHS it is with a profoundly negative spin. As things stand, however, the average hospital stay for mental health patients has fallen from 54 days to 27, and the number of those being readmitted has dropped sharply. These figures are an achievement for any government, but this goes unmentioned by Jofre in the report.

Rather, she turns the focus on the “one or two” who are stranded in hospital due to the lack of resources outside hospital – be that care in the community or a suitable home environment. Let’s take a moment to process this. One or two! Not thousands, hundreds, or even tens of people, but one or two. Yes, this is serious for the people concerned, and Colin McKay of the Mental Health Commission for Scotland is perfectly right to flag this as a “human rights issue,” but it is far from being the “crisis” we were told of on Monday.

Three NHS health boards in Scotland (Lothian, Tayside, and Greater Glasgow and Clyde), we are told, each have “a patient” who has been stuck in hospital for over 3 years. No one will argue that this is “unacceptable.” Of course it is. But – owing to the complexities and challenges of healthcare, and the difficulties many people face in their lives – there is any number of reasons why someone may end up unnecessarily stuck in hospital for such a long period of time.

Frustratingly, it is only as an afterthought at the very end of the report we are told the Scottish government – not, this time, the “SNP government” – is spending half a billion pounds on helping more people to live in the community. In sum, we can only conclude that this was the invention of a bad news story out of thin air.

Baby Boxes

Following is a report by Steven Godden on “so-called” baby boxes. This segment opens with a family in Orkney who were part of the original pilot scheme, and both mum and dad have nothing but good things to say about their baby box. The young mother, Cheryl, is clearly touched when she smiles and says that this has given her son “a real good start.” But, as the report moves on to the experts, this is the last good thing said of this Scottish government initiative.

While it is noted that this scheme in Finland – where it has run since the 1930s – has seen a dramatic decrease in the infant mortality rate, the question is asked: “to what extent is that to do with the baby box?” No answer is offered of course, this is the sowing of doubt before Francine Bates; CEO of The Lullaby Trust – a charity that does not even operate in Scotland – says that she would not endorse baby boxes. It might be worth pointing out that Ms Bates has an OBE and, as a friend of the Royal Family, did Christmas back in 2013 at St James’s Palace. The BBC did not feel the need to mention her connection to the establishment as she aired her “doubts” during her overtly negative assessment of the benefits of baby boxes.

“There is no safety standard anywhere in the world,” she says, “that covers a cardboard box to place your baby to sleep in.” The implication here is clear; that this mere “cardboard box” is substandard and dangerous. Sandwiching this, the BBC’s own commentary refuses to clarify that the Scottish government has ensured the baby boxes, as Mark McDonald – the Minister Childcare and Early Years – has made clear, “have British safety standards accreditation as a crib and is the first non-commercial baby box that does.” What the BBC says is that the Scottish government has “worked hard” to ensure their safety accreditation, implying that it does not yet have this.

What this results in is a sinister presentation of the baby boxes, where the Scottish government is shown to be on the defensive on the question of infant mortality and a “London-based” charity’s research into baby boxes and cot deaths is “inconclusive.” Over all, the report seems to suggest baby boxes risk babies’ lives.

The timing of this report too is interesting. It is curious that Reporting Scotland has returned to the theme of fictitious dangerous baby boxes 12 days ahead of the nation-wide unrolling of the Scottish government’s free baby box scheme. One would get the impression the state broadcaster is doing everything in its power to damage what is in essence a truly good government project.

Fishing Access (Missing)

Conspicuous for its absence is the story of fishing access that appeared earlier in the day on Reporting Scotland Lunchtime News.

BBC Scotland has made much of this in terms of Brexit, and with the help of the BBC the Scottish Conservatives have weaponised this story in order to attack the SNP. However Michael Gove has now conceded that foreign vessels will be allowed inside British territorial waters after Brexit. Why did Reporting Scotland drop such a highly significant story from its flagship evening news programme?


Friday, 4 August 2017 | RBS Back in the Black Hiding the Real RBS Story

RBS, the bank that nearly went under a decade ago, leads the charge on Reporting Scotland this evening. In spite of branch closures across the country continuing, the bank is back in the black …for now. After taking £2bn in loses for the same period last year, RBS was in the black to the tune of £940m for the six months to June this year. With other things still hanging in the wrong direction, however, the bank’s seniors do not believe it will make an overall annual profit in the six month to come. This wasn’t the real story however.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson outlined the migration – as a Brexit contingency plan – of the bank’s investment headquarters to Amsterdam, but the BBC neglected to mention anything of this. In an announcement earlier in the day it was made apparent that RBS is in “advanced discussions” with the Dutch National Bank to facilitate the move. Stevenson described this as a “logical decision” for RBS, following a trend of financial and banking migrations out of the UK and into Frankfurt, Germany, ahead of Brexit.

What really happened then on Reporting Scotland was a smoke and mirrors trick; reporting the news while not reporting the news. This is a Brexit consequential which cannot but be painful to the Scottish economy, putting the bank’s Scottish employees’ futures in jeopardy and taking much needed revenue from the Scottish exchequer – not to mention the knock on effects this will have right across the Scottish economy.

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43 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland Analysis – Week Beginning 31 July 2017

  1. aidan mc cormack

    Absolutely brilliant. Please keep this going. Will contribute what i can, but also putting this out on PEO emails to SNP branch.

  2. Peter

    Did your tame news-watcher notice that RBS (the english banking conglomerate run from london) was incorrectly labelled as The Royal Bank of Scotland (a minority part of of said english banking conglomerate run from london).

    Can anybody think why an english banking conglomerate which almost went bust would be painted as being entirely Scottish?

    Can the same people find out what happened to the city of Halifax. It vanished in 2008 never to be seen again. Halifax BofS just turned into the evil tartan Jocko Bank of Scotland for the english racists and cringers to attack.

  3. Rodric Selbie

    I will contribute to this project, and so will many others, many of us are feeling sick to our stomach with the barrage of bias and down right lies, I thank the heavens for folk like you..

  4. George R Robertson.

    It has long been my view that most of the media, including BBC Scotland, will leave no stone, however insignificant, unturned in their mission, by hook or by crook, to undermine the SNP and the Independence Movement on every possible occasion. However, I have to admit that BBC Scotland, in the last few years, has brought this to unimaginable levels of absurdity. The thought of a Yes vote in Inyref 2 must have them quaking in their shoes!

  5. William Reynolds

    This is good. The question now is what to do with this type of report which shows in detail the bias shown by the BBC. Surely there must be some way to use this information to bring the BBC to task, either by making the information more public, using the BBC complaints procedure or points of view or even legally. I am sure if required a donation fund would be well financed if the latter route could be taken just to make the BBC more responsible and stick to its own claim of unbiased reporting.

    1. Christine Boyle

      Agreed, the all important question now is what is to be done with this information which provides conclusive evidence of BBC Scotland bias. There seems little point in continuing to monitor their news output if nothing can be done at the very least to lessen its impact and at the very best to stop it.

      Also, when are the SNP going to fight back? Their silence is deafening when it comes to refuting BBC nonsense and they seem only too happy to stand back and rely on people like yourselves to act. They must become proactive in this or I fear any hope of an independent Scotland is over.

  6. Stuart Clark

    It is my perception that negative stories mention “The Royal Bank of Scotland” whereas positive stories use the name “RBS”

  7. Fye Milligan

    I can relate to all of the items broadcast above and deplore the disrespectful attitude to the elected government of our nation. This is in no way the job of a publicly funded broadcaster and Reporting Scotland in our house has become the “joke of the day”…..whatever can we dream up to say SNP BAD today.

  8. Gordon Dunbar

    Brilliant expose to bring BBC Scotland to account on their ‘Misreporting Scotland’! This is especially true for the flagship programme ‘Good Morning Scotland’ on ‘Radio Shortbread.’ What is required is a broad platform to get this out in mainstream MSM and social media to illuminate the ‘Yoon’ bias in the Corpration’s reporting of current affairs.

  9. Ron Birrell

    This is an excellent piece of work. I am looking forwrd to the analysis of BBC Scotland’s utterly scandalous reporting of the release of the Highes results.

  10. JimD

    Absolutely brilliant.

    G.A., do you have a ‘Donate’ button on the site?

    I seem to remember it being quite prominent a few months ago, but can’t see it now.

  11. David McCann

    Fantastic and forensic examination of the output of our state broadcaster!
    This must be widely shared on social media, as time is well passed when we accept without question output posing as fact.

  12. Rod MacLeod

    It is extremely well done and presented,however can I ask what is the end game with all of this?
    We already know the BBC is a foreign owned biased mouthpiece of London.
    No amount of monitoring is required to understand that reality
    Do we seriously believe that because of this very precise work that those in Pacific Quay will alter their behaviors ?
    Douglas Fraser last year got banged to rights making up lies about an interview with John Nicholson.
    Not only did Fraser not interview John he lied about what John actually said.
    He refused to apologise and just like the recent report on Michelle Thomson the impression left by Fraser’s nearly mouthed reply was that Nicholson was a liar and had like Thomson got off on a technicality.
    No blane whatsoever to attach to Aunty Beeb ,or the liars therein.
    So while I applaud your diligence I really cannot understand this effort .
    Is there some sort of plan?

  13. Kate Waddell

    Excellent. This is just what we are needing. All this negative reporting by the BBC and others needs to get put out to the public who are being hoodwinked by this bias and SNP bad nonsense.

  14. Gordon

    This is really excellent. I’m not a TV user, but I hear the same kind of drip-fed negativity on Radio Scotland every day (until I switch it off in disgust). It would be good if these analyses could be published more widely.

  15. Pam McMahon

    Excellent. Forensic and professional, unlike in every way the subject of your analysis. Any prospect of a daily podcast of the material bacause, as we know, people tend to remember and believe what they are told by an authoritative voice, rather what they may read?

    Would be happy to make further donations to this project.

  16. Harry Molloy

    Great start to the campaign, Worth every penny muyself and others put in, when more required I am sure we will dip in again, keep up the good work.

  17. GD

    This is crucial work, and I was happy to make a donation. One comment is that for maximum credibility the findings MUST be reported in an entirely objective and neutral manner, free of even a hint of bias or influence. While I completely agree with the blog above (and share the outrage and frustration), to the neutral or anti-Indy reader it would be too easy to dismiss as pro-Indy. What is exciting is the prospect of having 3rd party research and evidence to share that demonstrates BEYOND ARGUMENT the BBC Scotland approach to producing naked propaganda.

    1. stewartb

      GD I agree with your support for this work but also your cautionary remark about how the findings must be communicated in an objective way.

      I have two points to add – one specific and one more general.

      Firstly, this batch of findings is a great start but I found the following bit brought me up short – “a consortium of three English universities (Oxford, Manchester, and Nottingham) – and funded by the British government via the Economic and Social Research Council. ….. the funding connection between the UK government here and this research seriously calls into question the integrity of its findings”.

      It is one thing to challenge the validity of research based on justifying claims of a flawed methodology having assessed the source document: it is quite another thing, without good evidence being offered, to question the ‘integrity’ of a group of researchers and the ESRC. To my mind, that is just the sort of unsubstantiated (even conspiratorial) claim that could be picked up and used by opponents to deride and deflect from the wider analysis.

      My second point concerns what others have asked viz. what are the intended next steps? This will determine, importantly, who the audiences for the completed research analysis are intended to be? Presumably not those already convinced of BBC misreporting!

      My general point is that the style of communication needs to be chosen with the key audience/s in mind. Without knowing the audiences its hard to comment on the present choice of style.

  18. Eric Dodd

    One thing that has sadly been neglected in repeated studies and monitoring of BBC Scotland is the use of what is known as ”the tyranny of averages”.

    With regard to economic and societal matters – what we invariably see and hear is Scotland being compared to England or ‘the UK’. That’s very deliberate, because all data relating to GDP, GVA, economic output, health, employment/unemployment, public spending (per capita) and more is also published ”by country and by region”.

    What the media does is take the average figures for the UK or England and compare them to Scotland.

    Yet the Treasury PESA releases, and those from the ONS, OBR, IFS, IPPR and others provide hundreds of pages of detailed statistics, invariably showing that if London (one of the listed 9 English regions) and sometimes SE England are taken out of the equation, England and rUK become economic and societal basket-cases !
    What we (and it has to be us – the media refuses) should be doing is looking at the information relating to Wales, NI, Scotland, and the 9 English regions – and comparing them with each other.

    London’s massive wealth distorts the reality. It always has, and SNP politicians simply buckle and refuse to compare like with like when presented with ”Scotland v England” statistics – probably because they don’t want to compare Scotland with the English regions.

    But that’s where the truth lies, and the fact that the UK media, unionist talking heads, and opposition politicians avoid that same truth, but for different reasons, means we should be shouting those figures from the rooftops.

    We’re losing the info war because of a historic reluctance to compare a country with a region or regions, and that’s just dumb. Per capita figures can be compared directly, as can employment/unemployment, GVA and GDP statistics.

    But if we must use an average – provide two – one that includes London, and one that doesn’t.
    Do that, and the decent folk who live in 7 of the 9 English regions will start to realise that it’s London that’s their problem – not Scotland !

    So every time we hear Bird or any of the others utter the words ”…. compared to England…” or ”..compared to figures for the UK overall ….” we should go straight to the source of those statistics or figures, find the detail, and publish what they actually say and mean.

  19. johnny rudkin

    THE truth will out but will anybody take any notice of the truth the torys and the scottish bbc run by the scottish labour mafia think they can do or say anything against the snp and nobody cares just the snp and their supporters and who cares about them that is the attitude you get I WISH THEY COULD DO THE SAME WITH RADIO SCOTLAND they start with good morning scotland with a scotland bad story usually the NHS they then attack nicola sturgeon story then anything bad about scotland with professors and experts who hate scotland to back them up then you get kay adams with her biased shite if the presenters hate scotland and the snp so much why dont they move to engerland keep up the good work it can be used in evidence against the bbc when we get our independence and get our own broadcasting company for scotland

  20. Brian Powell

    I wonder if there is any international body that this and other work on the BBC policy of misinformation can be presented to?
    There is an international table for least trusted newspaper reporting, where the UK does very badly, but not that I can see on broadcasting. It would be interesting to find out.

    1. Moonlight

      Perhaps a continental news agency might be interested in these reports. Whilst they might only reach domestic audiences in Germany or France, it might help to create a climate of distrust of the BBC elsewhere.
      A long shot, but there is a chance that this could make HMG feel uncomfortable. Seeing as how they make such a big play of their democratic credentials.
      The Catalans might well see some parallels, but given the limited reach of the Catalan language, the audience might be more limited

  21. Deneka MacDonald

    I’ve contributed to this project with pleasure. Well done!

    It’s probably too expensive to do, but it would be awesome to take the basic content of a Reporting Scotland broadcast and present it from an unbiased or Yes friendly perspective. Play them back to back and that would be a powerful visual. Maybe those Newsnet chaps could assist?😉

  22. Alasdair Macdonald

    This is an excellent piece of work.
    The week chosen, was, I thought, one of the most egregious in a pretty sorry roster of BBC Scotland distorted reporting.
    I have felt that for some time now there has been a quite marked increase in antiScottish reporting, with an increasing arrogance shown by news and current affairs staff in tweets and other comments. It is tacitly, “Aye, we ur bein biassed, but therr’s f*** all yese kin dad aboot it. So, get it right up yese’.
    Of course they would not deign to use such demotic Scots!

    Can a crowdfunder be organised to sustain this? Can something similar t the old Mass Observation be employed to enable more people to assist voluntarily, but in a rigorous way? And, finally, if we can build up data, to whom are we going to present I?

  23. Joyce Harkin

    Keep up the good work! Why would anyone in Scotland be willing to actually pay for this constant and insidious anti-Scotland ‘news’ from the BBC?

  24. Jason Smoothpiece

    Excellent work, you will cause discomfort to the Regime’s broadcaster with these disclosures.

    I am sure someone from MI5, sorry the BBC will be along shortly to explain.

  25. Pingback: Countering media bias – scotlandisdifferent

  26. Derek Rogers

    I have to say I’m not convinced by’s approach to this problem – it rouses resentment and makes existing supporters feel good, but doesn’t present any thoughts that might change the minds of the opposition. I think you should be much less emotional, much more matter-of-fact. There’s a first-class model on how to do this here:

    and it should be engraved on every commentator’s frontal lobes. Following this model, I’ve posted a rewrite of your NHS Staffing story at That’s the way we have to go to win the debate.

    As far as complaining to the BBC is concerned, the text would be rather different, but still rigorously unemotional. It’s a very straightforward process. I’ll put a BBC-complaint version of this story on that website in a day or two. All the news items in this week’s report deserve a formal complaint to the BBC. I’m happy to give guidance on raising a complaint to anybody who’s thinking of it (find me at scotlandisdifferent).

    1. Jim Daly

      A very interesting article, Derek, and your rebuttal article on NHS staffing is a good example of following it’s precepts.

      However I think you are hasty in describing G.A’s work as mainly ‘making existing supporters feel good’.

      It is extremely clear and factual in the way it debunks all of the BBC ‘stories’ above, as all of his work is. G.A’s work is the equivalent of catching a thief in the act.

      The problem, as always, is this work cannot readily reach the people who need to see and hear it. We must painstakingly direct people to it in whatever ways are available to us. At the end of the day, BBC Scotland are a few corrupt people and we are many. Eventually we can prevail and the truth will out.

      I’m very happy to donate to this effort.

    2. Ronnie

      I would have to agree with Derek at 19:01. We have to be scrupulously academic in approach here or will only be considered as propaganda for the other side by those who we need to persuade.

  27. Malcolm Pirie

    Excellent stuff, needs to be printed and through the doors. The people seeing this at the moment know this happens. It is the others that we need to reach.

  28. Màiri McAllan

    This is great and really sets out what we all think if/when we watch Rep Scotland.

    It might be worth, where possible, putting the analysis into a video rather than solely in written commentary. Video’s are easy to make, can be short and snappy and are widely consumed and shared.

    Great work folks!


  29. Graham Findlay

    It will be interesting to see whether, if the survey continues , there is any moderation of the anti Scottish output. I doubt it because it is clearly being orchestrated by unionist forces.

    I agree with some of the previous contributors that we need a fightback in the public forum and damn the risk of being accused of being petty or even paranoid. The more our side of the argument is aired the more it will start to get undecideds thinking that all may not be as it seems in our cosy little union.

  30. Col

    It’s safe to say that every news item that comes out of their propaganda factory is worked on to fit their anti SNP and indy agenda. There’s no way that the SNP are blind to this. I wish they would just make it illegal what they are doing and ban them because Scots law says they are breaking the laws of this country.

  31. Gordon Spears

    When I watch Reporting Scotland it is always with the thought is this news or fake news and it generally turns out fake if anything where the SNP are involved.
    Keep up the the good work but BBC Reporting Scotland would be better controlled in Scottish hands.

  32. Monica Worley

    This needs a short stats summary: # fair representations, # flat out lies, etc. Something better than those, but something eye-catching and easily shareable.

  33. exile

    I am the person whose complaint to the BBC on Reporting Scotland’s item on GERS was upheld (see the March ’17 archive on this site). My complaint was entitled “Factual Inaccuracy” and was about an “inaccurate statement”. I never used the word “misleading”. It was the BBC which said “there was no intention to mislead anyone”. I stuck throughout to talking about the “factual inaccuracy”.

    I am sure that my complaint was upheld (though not remedied by broadcasting of a correction) because through the 7-month correspondence I wrote in an “entirely objective and neutral manner” (see 17 above), and stayed “rigorously unemotional” (see 27). So, I strongly agree that the eventual report on the pilot should meet these descriptions. It should be academic in style, even dry, and attack-proof – and libel/slander-proof. (Could ‘Lawyers for YES’ give it a final check?)

    Such a report should be sent to local, national and international papers/websites and news agencies worldwide (see 21), especially as the BBC has a worldwide reach. The cost of emailing it is minimal. Of course the BBC should have a copy too, so that it cannot complain it was unaware of the report.

    I agree with the comment at 18 that Scotland’s performance should be compared with regions of the UK. ‘Business for Scotland’ and ‘Talking up Scotland’ have the information. I also like the suggestion (see 22) of reworking a Reporting Scotland broadcast. Perhaps a job for ‘Phantom Power’? And as for reaching people like me who don’t use social media much, or at all, what about a suggestion, if it could be funded, from ‘Wings’, of showing videos (with subtitles) on a continuous loop in a YES shop window?

  34. David M

    Delighted to see people fighting back against the BBC’s disgraceful and blatant attempts to manipulate Scottish political opinion!

    I’d like to suggest the following:

    1. A dedicated, standalone website called “” using the excellent “misreporting scotland” banner (used previously for the billboard campaign). This works well because the logo clearly identifies the BBC as the source of the problem.

    2. People can visit your “Misreporting Scotland” website every day and easily find the latest analysis of the previous day’s Reporting Scotland. The first thing you should see when you land on the homepage is the very latest analysis at the top, with previous day’s analyses in descending date order further down page (i.e. no hunting around to find a link to the latest analysis. It should be right in your face). I realise producing an analysis immediately after each TV news broadcast would be difficult but that would be the most effective use of your time and money. People want to see the BBC’s current piece of anti-independence drivel shot down in flames as soon as possible.

    3. Make it easy for people to share the latest content from your website on a daily basis – and repost it in places where it is most likely to be seen by the “unconverted”.

    I know it’s all a work in progress and it can’t all happen over night but you are definitely heading in the right direction! Well done!

  35. David M

    May I further suggest editing videos into short clips that deal just with the topic about to be analysed?

    Using “Monday, 31 July 2017” from above as an example:

    1. Clip about “NHS Staffing” – duration 02:13, (00:20 – 02:33 from the longer clip)

    2. Your written analysis of the “NHS Staffing” spin

    3. Clip about “Benefits Cap” – duration 02:37, (02:34 – 05:11 from the longer clip)

    4. Your written analysis of the “Benefits Cap” spin


    With this approach people don’t have to hunt through the long clip to find the part being analysed.

    It also removes non-political material to focus people on the spin and propaganda you are highlighting.

    People watch the Reporting Scotland version before reading your analysis and deciding who is being fair and accurate.

    For me the first priority is to get the analysis operation up and running.
    Later, if you have time and money, you can branch out into creating your own videos and other fancy bells and whistles.

    The important thing is to expose the BBC lies every day, preferably as soon as they’re broadcast. Trying to cover a wide range of topics or several different news outlets is too diffuse.

    We need a compact, streamlined attack that focuses all available resources on destroying the credibility of the BBC “flagship” Reporting Scotland, first holing and then sinking it in a boiling cauldron of public distrust.


    That’s a website I would visit every day. And this is the attack I would be willing to support.

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