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Monitoring BBC Scotland political output – Towards Indyref2…

Monitoring BBC Scotland political output

Just over a week ago former First Minister Alex Salmond called out the ‘mongers of doom’ who were predicting calamity for the Scottish economy.

The intervention followed inaccurate predictions that Scotland’s economy was about to go into recession.

The roll-call of shame included BBC Scotland.



In his article for The National, Salmond wrote:

The first-quarter surge in Scottish GDP caught the Fraser economists by surprise. Point eight of one per cent doesn’t sound all that much but, in fact, it is FOUR times the comparable UK figure.

It is the equivalent of more than four per cent annual growth and puts Scotland into the international fast lane of current growth prospects for 2017, just as the UK has entered the slow lane.

However, whatever the embarrassment for the Fraser Institute, it is as of nothing compared to the abject humiliation of Unionist politicians, the mainstream media and the BBC. They have all been holed amidships.

Salmond’s intervention may or may not have been a sign that the SNP intends to take the gloves off when it comes to the BBC in Scotland. It was though evidence that those at the top of the party are well aware of the problems that exist within the state broadcaster’s Scottish branch.

Independence supporters are all too aware of the institutionalised corruption that leads to the kind of hype that Salmond called out. I myself have written a book on the subject. London Calling inspired a documentary of the same name.

Aside from these, and a year-long study of televised news by Professor John Robertson, there has been no concerted effort to monitor BBC Scotland political output. The corporation has trundled along much as it did prior to and throughout the independence referendum.

But the Yes movement is about to hit back. Last week an appeal was launched that aims to create a month-long pilot project. The project aim is simple. It will monitor BBC Scotland political output.

The project isn’t the brainchild of any one individual. There have been calls for some kind of scrutiny, analysis or research of BBC Scotland political output for years. It’s just that nobody has tried to put anything together … until now.

The basis sounds simple enough. Look for examples of BBC Scotland output that challenge claims of political impartiality. The practicality of such an exercise is far from simple.

The pilot project is therefore a proof of concept. A small group of dedicated individuals will record, watch, log and upload items that call into question BBC Scotland’s impartiality and/or indicate an agenda at work.

Once logged, this research will be passed onto a writer whose job will be to turn it into a readable and easily understood article. The hope is that a process can be established that results in a weekly article being published – perhaps every Sunday.

That’s not all. The pilot project will also endeavour to produce a slick and professional looking video programme that will examine items that have been broadcast. This is perhaps the most ambitious part of the project.

An appeal to fund the pilot project was launched late last Wednesday. The appeal target had reached 70% of its £2500 total within 18 hours of launch.

Despite a glitch that meant no donations could be made until 1pm the next day, the appeal coasted over the finish line hours after resumption. At the time of writing it stands at over £3000.

The pilot project will limit itself to televised news and current affairs programmes broadcast by BBC Scotland. This of course covers Reporting Scotland and Politics Scotland, both midweek and weekend broadcasts.  It will log broadcasts similar to the two below.

The pilot won’t cover Radio Scotland. BBC Scotland’s two radio news programmes cover five and a half hours of airtime each weekday – too much to monitor as things currently stand.  So it will be limited in what it can monitor.

Make no mistake.  BBC Scotland political news output is shocking.  It’s poor quality, parochial and partisan.  This last week we’ve seen two press releases from the Tories turned into national headline news.  Opinions from vested interest groups have led Reporting Scotland.  Smear stories that try to piggy-back on the human tragedy of Grenfell have been lifted from newspapers.

This project may fail. The month long pilot may come to nothing. However, with a main stream media showing no appetite to scrutinise BBC Scotland and elements of our so-called ‘alternative media’ not sure what they are an alternative to, this project is all we have.

Let’s get behind these guys. The project appeal currently has eleven days left if you want to show your support. You can find it by clicking here.


[The project will begin in earnest when the Scottish Parliament reconvenes after its summer break. It is scheduled to run for a minimum of four weeks. The pilot may be extended if the project exceeds its target.]

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10 thoughts on “Monitoring BBC Scotland political output

  1. Mark

    I strongly feel that press releases should be targeted across a range of international news providers once stats are available.
    Pointless sending within the UK except maybe Channel 4.
    BBC needs shamed internationally on this.
    They are far too respected.
    Be good to get the radio covered too its atrocious.
    Will donate again when required

  2. Abulhaq

    BBC in Scotland has a massive inferiority complex. At the sound of an English voice the knees bend in dutiful obedience. In the colonial dependency which Scotland really always was, the spineless establishment has rendered excellent service to its masters.
    The end is definitely nigh. How much longer can this failing state with its junior common room politicians and Hello magazine ‘élite’ survive?

  3. Robert Graham

    i cant think of any other country on the planet where the state broadcaster , on a daily basis activly seeks to undermine the freely elected government , Only in Scotland does this happen ,
    What are they scared of ? , are they scared that the people , heaven forbid should learn the truth , and the real state of affairs would be of such a shock as to cause people to question what the f/k is going on , and why have we been lied to . They are desperate to hide the truth .

  4. johnny rudkin

    radio scotland on its good morning scotland program, is the worst against the snp and scotland, a lot of older people, the first thing they do in the morning is turn on the radio, good morning scotland, every day they have a new snp bad story, and every day they have a scotland useless story, ,they carry this through from 6 am to 9 am, then they get another scotland hater on the kay adams show, something should be done about the bbc radio programs ,their biased against the snp and scotland is way over the top.

  5. Joyce Fraser

    It’s really time we had our own independent broadcaster. Nothing will change until we can fight the propaganda with the truth! The Scottish government really have to take this on board whether it means just doing it and be damned. We have to start using other methods. Westminster’s propaganda machine is massive and we can only fight it with good, honest reporting from a broadcaster that is impartial!

  6. Scott H

    On a slightly trivial point, what other country in the world would you get the weather for your nation, followed by the proper weather forecast from the big boys? Where your nation gets the briefest of mentions?

    “You keep your pishy Scottish presentation, this is the one that counts!”

  7. Jim mccaffrey

    Surely the two rats kezia and Ruth, should be taken to task for every word ( lie) that comes out of their mouths, they are listened too and do more damage than anyone else.

  8. Connor McEwen



  9. Clydebuilt

    Is Scotland tge only nation in the world where another countries state broadcaster is allowed to attack and run down Scotland’s government. Paid for by Scottish citizens.

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