On Monday I was alerted to a story in the Financial Times. The story was amazing. An oil company had confirmed a massive discovery in Scottish waters.
Hurricane oil described the discovery as “the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf”. I checked the BBC Scotland website for mention of the news. There was nothing.
Within an hour of learning of the discovery this very site published its own brief article. Half an hour or so later an even shorter article appeared on the BBC Scotland website. Pacific Quay had belatedly picked up the story.
Scotland, as you are aware, is an oil producing nation. Ninety per cent of all UK oil production originates in Scottish waters. Oil is a key issue in the independence debate. This new find, in terms of that debate, is highly significant. Yet BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme gave it a paltry seventeen seconds on that evening’s news.
There’s no explanation for this. There were items on the same programme that were of far less significance but were allocated considerably more time. Yet a major oil discovery off the coast of the Shetland Isles was virtually ignored.
STV evening news gave the story six times the amount of time BBC Scotland did. The item below is one minute and forty four seconds long. It is far more informative and presents the story in context.
More bizarre is the fact that Reporting Scotland already had its own longer version of the story in the can. The clip below was broadcast on the lunchtime edition earlier that day. Why it was cut from the more popular, and more widely viewed, evening edition is something we’ll probably never know – we can only guess at.
What we do know is that a highly significant story in terms of Scotland’s constitutional debate was cut to the extent that it may as well not have been included at all. Moreover the story broke on the very day Theresa May visited Scotland to deliver her latest sound-bite in praise of the Union. May’s visit received a tad more than seventeen seconds, even though it contained virtually nothing in terms of newsworthiness.Views: 16403