This morning a story broke regarding a Brexit warning from the Chief Executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, Ross McEwan. McEwan told the BBC that a “Hard Brexit” might lead to the UK economy going into recession.
He also claimed that firms were holding back on investment because of the uncertainty of Brexit. This was a major story.
The story was in top spot on BBC Scotland online on Thursday morning. It was also the first news item on the morning editions of Reporting Scotland.
The item on the early editions of Reporting Scotland lasted less than twenty seconds. There was no analysis nor any input from any Scottish politician.
Would the 13:35 edition of Reporting Scotland expand on the story, or perhaps include analysis from BBC Scotland’s business editor Douglas Fraser? The answer was sadly no. By the time the early afternoon edition of Reporting Scotland aired the item had been relegated to fourth spot, behind flu vaccinations and two alleged murders.
The RBS/Brexit item again lasted less than twenty seconds. There was no attempt to expand on McEwan’s warning or analyse what it meant for Scotland. There was no input from any Scottish politician. A rather tepid filler item about agriculture and climate change was allowed over two and a half minutes. That’s over seven times the amount of time given to the RBS Brexit warning.
The playing down of the Brexit warning was in contrast to the profile the story received on the BBC UK national news. The story received almost two minutes of air time on the lunchtime UK news.
Why would BBC Scotland play down this story? At the time of publication of this article we were waiting to see if the RBS/Brexit story actually appears on the evening edition of Reporting Scotland.
By the time the evening edition of Reporting Scotland aired, the RBS Brexit warning had been dropped. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to the reason for this editorial decision.
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