Some of you will have seen Derek Bateman’s blog about his time as a journalist at BBC Scotland. There have been many blogs, reports on Wings and Newsnet, there is a Facebook Page etc about the journalistic standards of BBC Scotland.
This short blog is not supposed to be an academic write-up about the subject, it is just my thoughts as a viewer of the news and current affairs coverage of BBC Scotland. Derek Bateman says there is no anti-independence or anti-SNP agenda at Pacific Quay. Now given the years he has worked there he would certainly know far more than myself, but ask yourself if this is in fact true from your own experience of actually viewing the programmes or news, or even listening the radio.
The simple fact is, in my opinion, that the standard of reporting is the equivalent of Fox News in America, maybe lower. I have not seen anything over the last two years, since the referendum became a fact, that shows me that BBC Scotland is not the official press department of the Scottish branch of New Labour. The standard of reporting is shocking, from Brian Taylor, Gary Robertson, Gordon Brewer to Jackie Bird their obvious dislike of all things SNP puts all journalists to shame. Derek Bateman may dispute that but the viewer is the better judge and this viewer is pretty much sick of being short-changed by a state tax funded broadcaster who cannot or will not provide a balance within its reporting in Scotland. I am even at the stage now that I would happily allow it to be privatised given how poor it has become as I am at the point of just turning off completely.
But let’s have a wee look at the reporters.
Gordon Brewer, formally a member of the Socialist Organiser which had strong links to the left of the Labour Party.
Jackie Bird, widely reported loathing of Alex Salmond and strong links to Jack McConnell and the Labour Party.
Brian Taylor, so full of his own pompous use of language that he turns you off just by his use of words. He may well be educated but he does not reach out to the viewer, he makes watching political coverage painful rather than educational.
John Boothman Head of News, a former labour party activist and partner of Susan Deacon former MSP Labour.
Gary Robertson, gives Labour politicians an easy time while treating SNP politicians like dogs dirt.
Catriona Renton, former Labour Councillor.
So given the above are either pretty bad reporters or in most cases are linked to the Labour Party how are we, the viewers, supposed to get an honest, impartial and trustworthy news. I guess we are not so if you want the truth you’re going to have to find it yourself.