Reporting Scotland Editor defends ‘Brexit Blackout’

The Editor of Reporting Scotland has defended the ommision of two Brexit related stories from an edition of the programme saying one of the stories was covered elsewhere on the BBC.

In a response to a complaint from a licence payer, the official said the running order and contents of the programme were decided in accordance with events that day.

On February 7th, the 18:30 edition of Reporting Scotland was broadcast with the resignation of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland as the top item.  Other stories which followed included an item on a faulty boiler installation, two lost skiers being found and an item of clothing worn at the Superbowl by pop star Justin Timberlake.

However missing from the programme were two Brexit related stories that had emerged earlier that day.  The biggest was a House of Commons publication of a breakdown of the Brexit Analysis papers that had been leaked just over a week earlier.

The papers showed that Brexit would have a negative impact on Scottish growth. The impact on Scotland was worse than the UK average.  The papers called into question comments made by David Mundell on November 2nd when he gave evidence to a Holyrood Committee.

Also missing from the programme was Scottish Government analysis published that day that concluded UK Govt plans to cut net migration could cost Scotland’s economy up to £10bn.  A complaint to the BBC queried the ommission of both stories from the programme.

Responding, the Editor of Reporting Scotland: “The biggest story that night was the resignation of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. The running order and its contents were decided in accordance with events that day, as is the case every day.

The Editor added: “The BBC carried the ‘Brexit’ story on other platforms, including an online BBC Scotland version ‘Brexit ‘could hit Scottish growth by 9%’

“Also on the Scotland-politics site is a story from 2nd November last year about the Secretary of State telling the Europe Committee of the Scottish Parliament that there was no “Scotland-specific” analysis and that, of reports on 58 economic sectors, none was specifically about Scotland.

“All the stories to which you refer were, as all stories are, subjected to rigorous scrutiny and consideration platform by platform and their inclusion or exclusion is a matter for the editorial judgement of our journalists.”

In a statement to this site, the individual who submitted the complaint said: “The response from the Editor of Reporting Scotland completely fails to explain why these two Brexit stories were ignored.

“Pointing out that other platforms carried one of the stories makes it all the more bizarre that Scotland’s number one TV news programme didn’t.

“Moreover, by pointing to an online article which covered David Mundell’s claim that no Scotland specific analysis existed, the Editor actually makes the case that the papers’ publication should have been covered, as they appear to disprove what Mundell said.”

The issue is the second time Reporting Scotland’s coverage of Brexit has been called into question.  The programme has been accused of operating a policy that results in Brexit related stories being pushed down the running order or ignored altogether.

Last night a story involving Ruth Davidson and four of her Scottish MPs who are demanding a so-called hard Brexit, was relegated to seventh on Reporting Scotland.  Two days earlier, the refusal of Unionist MPs to attend a Brexit sitting of the Scottish Affairs Committee, held in Kirkcaldy, was ignored completely.

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15 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland Editor defends ‘Brexit Blackout’

  1. Sarah Black

    I agree that the BBC is extremely biased against SNP. I receive more news about Scotland’s politics through other forms of media than I do from BBC Scotland.

    1. Sam

      Your right Sarah, the BBC is biased against the SNP, well after all the BBC’s job is to hold the UK together. A previous director General Greg Dyke said “The BBC is the glue that holds the UK together”

  2. Eileen MacPherson

    Shocking and typical. What happened to debate and looking at all sides of matters. Obviously Westminster or Scottish Office told them to blank it!!! Talk about running scared.

  3. Billy Forbes

    No shock there then Mundell Isn’t the least bit interested in Scotland and is more interested in the sceaming tories. So when the tories spend billions on the new Nuclear weapons wnere are they going to dump the one’s they have. I wonder ????????

  4. F McGregor

    There is no defence surely. News is news. Not reporting on matters which so seriously impact on Scotland is a dereliction and not journalism.

  5. Robert Graham

    No discussion last week in holyrood , this week the neutral presiding officer shuts down the only question on brexit , the BBC not chasing Ruthie or fluffy ? .

    The BBC rather than reporting the news seem to believe its their place to broadcast what they want and ignore the most pressing news story out there right now .

    Every other outlet are pushing this brexit mess apart from the BBC i wonder Why ?.

  6. Proud Cybernat

    I remember years ago when reading some news item on the internet, I’d go and check it with the BBC broadcast news. Now if I hear BBC broadcast news, I go and check it on the internet.

    The BBC in Scotland is nothing more than the propaganda mouthpiece of the British Nationalist Establishment in London. Their job is to ‘make’ us British Nationalists rather than Scots. Their job is to downplay any ScotGov success, indeed, ANY Scots success ANYWHERE (you listenin’ Claire Balding?). Their job is to present an illusion that all is well in Britain (ignore negative British stories i.e,. Brexit etc) and present mostly negative ScotGov stories. Drip, drip, drip. Endlessly.

    But they’re failing in that endeavour. And the BBC is failing in its task because…

    …we see you, BBC.


    1. Jockanese Wind Talker

      And to confirm their Anti SNP/Scot Gov bias 14:00hrs Radio Shortbread headlines

      1st item states that Labour are considering changing stance on UK/EU Customs Union and could support Tory Rebels to defeat TMay.

      Absolutely no mention of the SNP or Scottish Government who have had a consistent Single Market and Customs Union message since Brexit Referendum.

      Propaganda by omission.

      Makes a change in their running order for Brexit stories which are usually well down the list or not reported at all.

      Nae doot hoping to con folk that Corbyn and BritNat Labour in Scotland are pro EU in the hope of securing votes.

      BritNat Broadcasting Corporation upholding its Royal Charter as per.

  7. Sandra eeles

    It’s disgusting and if it wasn’t for social media they would have it all there own way. Also the chair person last week shut our first minister down. He needs to know his place or ve removed. There has been to much of BBC BIAST. It makes me so angry.

    1. Jockanese Wind Talker


      The Presiding Officer at Holyrood is Ken Macintosh (BritNat Labour in Scotland) who is supposed to be apolitical and impartial.

      He is useless and in my opinion regularly brings The Scottish Parliament into disrepute with his action (or lack of action) and a poor successor to Tricia Marwick.

      However compare and contrast with Westminster where Tory MPs from Scotland routinely ask questions about Scottish Government policies etc. and the Speaker of the House of Commons (Bercow) allows this.

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