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By a Newsnet reporter

Yesterday Newsnet Scotland published an email from Leveson that appeared to cast doubt on claims by opponents of the SNP that meetings between Alex Salmond and Rupert Murdoch had resulted in any deal that meant newspapers like the Sun would back Mr Salmond’s party for the 2011 Holyrood elections.

The article contained a recording of an interview of Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon conducted by Radio Scotland’s Gary Robertson.  Our reporter suggested that the interview was aggressive and perhaps a little non-partisan when compared to similar interviews with Unionist politicians.

Our claim resulted in a debate as to whether Ms Sturgeon’s interview was indeed overly aggressive in tone compared to earlier interviews.

As part of our look into the coverage of the Leveson emails by BBC Scotland we have prepared a series of video and audio recordings.  These recordings will allow the reader to form an opinion as to the accuracy and balance of BBC Scotland’s reportage.

We begin with three interviews conducted by Gary Robertson on Wednesday 25th April, these are followed by the aforementioned interview with Nicola Sturgeon.

We have prepared a basic guide to each individual's party involvement in the BskyB bid according to the Leveson emails.  This will allow readers to form a judgement as to whether or not those exctracts from the emails were pursued by Mr Robertson.

The first is Willie Rennie, whose party feature prominently in the series of Leveson emails.  The emails contain a suggestion of support for the BskyB bid by the Scottish Lib Dems, including one MSP who claims the bid will enhance job prospects in his area.  There are also claims that senior UK Lib Dems including Nick Clegg were also supportive of the bid.

The second is an interview with Conservative MSP David Mcletchie whose Westminster colleague Jeremy Hunt is facing calls to resign due to claims that he breached rules pertaining to his quasi-judicial role when scrutinising the BskyB bid.

The third is Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont.  The emails contain claims that Labour figures were lobbying against the takeover bid by News Corp due to adverse coverage the party had received from the Murdoch press and were also planning to write to Vince Cable opposing the bid.  The Mail and Telegraph newspapers also wrote to Vince Cable opposing the bid.

Here is Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaking on Friday.  The emails contain suggestions that SNP leader Alex Salmond would be prepared to contact Jeremy Hunt to discuss the takeover bid.  The First Minister’s said that his presentations would focus on the benefits to Scotland in terms of investment and jobs.  Another email indicated that in March 2011, the Sun editor was keen to back the SNP after a dinner meeting with Mr Salmond, and had prepared a pitch in order to persuade his organisation's editorial team.

We now take a look at BBC Scotland’s coverage of Thursday’s First Minister’s Questions in which all three leaders attacked Mr Salmond over meetings with Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump.

We begin with unedited exchanges between Mr Salmond and each of the three leaders of the Unionist opposition at the session.

Here is how Reporting Scotland reported the exchanges to the tea time viewer on that evening’s TV news.

Here is how Radio Scotland’s Sarah Paterson reported the exchanges earlier that evening.

The striking thing about the clips is the way the First Minister’s references to Ed Miliband meeting Rupert Murdoch after the phone hacking scandal broke, and his endorsement of the Sun newspaper, are edited out of the clips. 

The viewer and listener are left with the impression that Johann Lamont’s claim, that Salmond is the only leader to have met Rupert Murdoch after the Millie Dowler episode, is accurate.  The viewer and listener are also left with the impression that Ed Miliband had not sought endorsement from the Sun.

Also missing are claims by Donald Trump, several weeks old, that it was in fact Jack McConnell who initially made promises to the US tycoon over wind farms.

These are only snapshots of the BBC Scotland’s reporting of the Leveson emails, however we believe they are an accurate representation of the corporation’s overall handling of the story in Scotland and its apparent desire to play down those aspects that might prove damaging to the SNP’s opponents.

Readers of Newsnet Scotland are invited to form their own opinion and of course, unlike BBC Scotland where comment is all but barred on Scottish political matters (unique in the UK), post their views on comments beneath this article.

Comments  

 
# Blanco 2012-04-30 06:40
Thanks for providing these, I take Jiggsboro's point on the other thread that the government gets a harder time than the opposition although if my memory serves correctly, and I don't have the evidence to hand, the SNP got a harder ride than Labour from the BBC in the run up to the 2007 election. Newspapers were a bit more balanced and some even came out tentatively in support of the SNP.

I watched FMQs this week and Johann Lamont's mud pie at Alex was answered by an industrial muck spreader of a retort regarding Labour's involvement with Murdoch. If that was not reported then it does look like a failing on the part of the journalists.
 
 
# Marian 2012-04-30 06:41
I watched FMQ's live last Thursday and noted that Alex Salmond's killer punch at the end of the exchange with Johann Lamont was omitted from the BBC's edited version on the 6.30pm news too.

This as I recall was when he reminded Johann Lamont that she had admitted when she had been interviewed by Gary Robertson earlier, that if she was First Minister she too would have spoken to Rupert Murdoch about jobs if that was required,
 
 
# naemairleesplease 2012-04-30 16:48
Thankfully, Johann Lamont will never be First Minister.
Not in this universe anyway.
Even if she was, would murdoch understand what she was saying?
 
 
# mealer 2012-04-30 06:44
A good article which confirms,again, BBC bias.Unfortunately,i t takes about an hour to hear and read in full.Too long for those less interested in politics than your average NNS reader.
 
 
# Cuphook 2012-04-30 13:32
There's been a piece running on RT.com throughout the day on BBC bias and a good part of it is given over to the way it reports on the referendum. You might recognise the user name's of some pro-indy appear on screen.

Slightly OT. The University of Strathclyde are running a survey, the results of which, will be reported on by the BBC. It's called Mood of the Nation www.strath.ac.uk/.../ and centres on how optimistic people in the UK are about the future of their specific country and how they feel about Scottish independence.
 
 
# Jimmy The Pict 2012-04-30 15:33
So this is what they say about me after the survey :

"You are an optimist"

"On balance, the future looks bright to you. The prospect of change doesn't scare you too much and you find much to be proud about. Challenging times – but, despite some minor wobbles, you remain hopeful overall."
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-30 16:04
Completed POLL TWICE! No challenge.
"remember to watch out for the full results on the BBC Sunday Politics Show."
I'm an optimist---twice over!
www.strath.ac.uk/.../
 
 
# John Souter 2012-04-30 19:21
As a Scot living in England I posted as someone living in England with the exception of choosing to vote for the SNP were I given the choice.

I was categorised as a pessimist and, while I would have considered a realist to have been the more accurate assessment, I'm quite content to be branded a Westminster doom-sayer.

After all's is said and done anybody optimistic of a future under Westminster is either already in the political swamp or working for a lobbying firm.

Now, purely for the sake of equity and balance, I'll enter under my Scottish address and see if the gloom of pessimism is lifted to enlightenment.
 
 
# John Souter 2012-04-30 19:39
Well! there you have it.

Change of address but with positive answers on a Scottish bias and I'm a certifiable optimist looking forward to tomorrows challenges.
 
 
# bagonails 2012-04-30 16:43
Hi Jimmy
I got the exact same outcome word perfect !!
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-04-30 17:19
This poll is misleading with questions such as:

Which, if any, of the following words describe your feelings about Scotland's current political situation? Please tick up to FOUR words.

Does that mean with regard to Westminster or to Holyrood ?

With Westminster I would be inclined to choose 'disgusted'.
With Holyrood I would choose 'Happy' or 'Proud'

At the beginning of the poll there is an e-mail address if you want to send in your comments which I am going to do as this is simply not accurate and could be read in either way. Remember this poll is being run by the John Curtice mob.
 
 
# LynneMcC66 2012-05-01 13:07
This is a very poorly written survey and certainly not worthy of University standards. Some of the questions I could not answer correctly such as being proud of Scotland's Welfare System - it's part of UK not Scotland! Mind you like most here it said I was an optimist about the future - although even the way this was written reminded me of the quizzes I used to do in the Jackie when I was about 12!!
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-05-01 14:55
I emailed the University with some questions about, what I regard, the vagueness of the questions. Here is the response I have been given. I didn't expect a reply, so at least they have taken the time to do that.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our quiz and for sending your thoughtful feedback. As this is not a traditional public opinion survey, it does not use the standard format and can seem confusing. I can though assure you that the research design and analytical framework have been carefully considered and that the issues that you raise will not impact on the final results.

I'm afraid that I will have to ask for your patience until we can fully explain the analytical logic with the final results. I do hope that you will follow these as you will find out more about the study when these are reported

Best wishes

Laura

Professor Laura Cram
School of Government and Public Policy
University of Strathclyde
 
 
# Wave Machine 2012-04-30 06:47
I think that there is a danger that thoughts of BBC Scotland and it's agenda can actually become the agenda. We seem to be talking about it an awful lot these days.
Not to dumb down the fact that the BBC in Scotland is biased, but we shouldn't get hung up on it. There are bigger fish to fry.
By talking about them we are not talking about other things that probably deserve more attention.
The SNP are not going to be successful on the back of the BBC, we know that, let's move on. I'm getting tired reading about the BBC. We all know the score and we all know that there is not a lot we can do about it. We need to move around and circumvent the problem.
A way to record the latest and current bias is required. Bag it and then bin it and move on. Call it the BBC Bin. After there has been constitutional change we can go back to the subject with the necessary energy and, in public, ask the team at Pacific Quay to justify their, quite frankly, undemocratic activities.
So BBC Scotland, we see and hear your rubbish, and like a mess left by a dog on the pavement, we're going to bag it, bin it but we'll be opening up the smelly bin in the future and we'll be asking some hard questions.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-04-30 15:16
Wave Machine Excellent post.

"A way to record the latest and current bias is required"
correct, would be good for some international body to monitor the BBC's actions.

"we all know that there is not a lot we can do about it"

Rather than have a demonstration at Pacific Quay, (Which won't receive any publicity), we need to educate Scots, Spread the word on Newsnetscotland , Print off articles and push them through letterboxes. Email articles to contacts.
 
 
# ds12 2012-04-30 06:50
Also be interesting to see how the BBC and their friends in new labour try the square the circle regarding the dateline of any hacking of Jack McConnell's phone.
They have been attempting to link the McConnell phone hacking with Alex Salmond and his "friendship"(thats what the BBC called it last night) with Rupert Murdoch.The only fly in that ointment is going to be that Jack McConnell ceased to be of any political value in 2007.If his phone was being hacked it was at a time when the Murdochs were completely at the heart of Tony Blair and Gordon Browns plans.
I know its only a minor detail and the BBC aren't about to let the facts get in the way of having a kick at Alex Salmond.
 
 
# gus1940 2012-04-30 08:21
Great timing by Jumping Flash Jack.

According to The Herald the police informed him of the hacking in February.

The release of this story 4 days before the election is an obvious Labour stunt complete with Stairheid Rammy and others joining in trying somehow to connect it with the ongoing Salmond/Murdoch non-scandal.

Hypocritical political opportunism at its worst.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 08:34
This is what I suspected. Will BBC Scotland now question why this story has just been released by Jack McConnell. They were happy to run with it yesterday.

How about a bit of balance BBC.
 
 
# Ready to Start 2012-04-30 06:58
Alex Salmond on Call Kaye this morning
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-04-30 08:43
Kaye has been very fair and balanced this morning and Alex has been his usual well informed and assured self.
 
 
# Dowanhill 2012-04-30 07:18
Back to the main subject. I thought the image of Milliband pictured in the Sun claiming to be in-tune with Sun voters with any policy announcement to be heard first in the Sun was just incredulous! Bearing in mind that while Jack McConnell's phone and children's phone was being tapped. Tony Blair was dinning with Rupert Murdoch; One of 40 dinners he had with the media mogul during this period. Gordon Brown had 16 dinners with the owner of the Sun also, when McConnel was FM. So I think the Labour party should be looking closer too home. Get Murphy + Boyack to set up a review??
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-04-30 07:21
Excellent article, anyone left in doubt about biased BBC reporting must be totally blind deaf and dumb.

And we are expected to pay an annual fee to be brainwashed by BBC propaganda ?
 
 
# markola 2012-04-30 07:47
If you don't you'll pay a hefty fine and/or be jailed!
 
 
# Cairn 2012-04-30 07:36
Slightly OT but just watched Catriona Shearer on the Reporting Scotland news bulletin on BBC breakfast, turn into a gibbering wreck it all started when she started stuttering the words "first minister" she then rapidly went down hill unable to pronounce anything, mixing words together to create some new entries for the dictionary. You could here the frustration in her voice. At this point they cut off Reporting Scotland and went straight to the BBC London news bulletin and didn't return to Reporting Scotland. I do hope she’s OK.
 
 
# rapid 2012-04-30 08:02
talk of the office this morning. has anyone got it on youtube yet?
 
 
# Conan the Librarian™ 2012-04-30 10:58
 
 
# Robabody 2012-04-30 11:47
Ah well, a bad day at the office - we all have them.
 
 
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-04-30 12:17
Autocue problem?
 
 
# Dowanhill 2012-04-30 07:38
It is the Labour party's complicity and hypocrisy in all this which, is not being properly scrutinised that is the problem and not the FM trying to ensure Sky retain 8,000 call cenntre jobs. I think this has too be re-inforced at every oppurtunity before and during any interviews given to the BBC. The other option would be to have 'no minister was available' and address any allegations via STV news bulletins. This would marginalise the BBC and re-inforce how bias it really is.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 08:29
It is good for a Government of any political persuasion to be held to account by media. However, ALL elected public servants need to be scrutinised in what they do, not just the government of the day. In London, this is invariably the case. In Scotland, the BBC seem unable or unwilling to question ANY of the opposition parties in the Scottish parliament, and this is where the credibility of BBC Scotland falls down.

You see, those of us who have been following Leveson, know that there are more questions for Labour, the Libdems and Tories regarding Murdoch, than there ever have been for the SNP. For some reason, however, BBC Scotland have only asked about the SNP.

That is the problem.

This very partisan and selective approach, is even more of a problem with the issue of Murdoch. If Labour's hands were clean regarding Murdoch, then I could understand the focus on the SNP, but in reality Labour are exhibiting real hypocrisy on this subject, and ALL the evidence is there in the Leveson evidence files.

So why do BBC Scotland ask no questions of Labour?? Why no headlines on the BBC Scotland website regarding the many, many revelations in Leveson regarding Brown's or Miliband's dealings with Murdoch.

Therein lies the bias. It is pretty freaking obvious.
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-30 10:25
Quoting Robert Louis:
It is good for a Government of any political persuasion to be held to account by media. However, ALL elected public servants need to be scrutinised in what they do, not just the government of the day. In London, this is invariably the case. In Scotland, the BBC seem unable or unwilling to question ANY of the opposition parties in the Scottish parliament, and this is where the credibility of BBC Scotland falls down.

You see, those of us who have been following Leveson, know that there are more questions for Labour, the Libdems and Tories regarding Murdoch, than there ever have been for the SNP. For some reason, however, BBC Scotland have only asked about the SNP.

That is the problem.

This very partisan and selective approach, is even more of a problem with the issue of Murdoch. If Labour's hands were clean regarding Murdoch, then I could understand the focus on the SNP, but in reality Labour are exhibiting real hypocrisy on this subject, and ALL the evidence is there in the Leveson evidence files.

So why do BBC Scotland ask no questions of Labour?? Why no headlines on the BBC Scotland website regarding the many, many revelations in Leveson regarding Brown's or Miliband's dealings with Murdoch.

Therein lies the bias. It is pretty freaking obvious.

How sad it is for the "media" to be the ones to hold the government to account. It is for the elected opposition to do that, the media is for reporting the news truthfully,accu rately and without bias.We have police, courts, judges to uphold and process the law, no need for Paxmanites to decide what we should hear,see,or know.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 12:46
With opposition as ineffective as we have in Scotland, and opposition as indistinguishab le from government as we have in Westminster, I want the media to hold the government to account.

Watergate - most famously - became public because journalists exposed it, not because of opposition politicians. The media play an important role in questioning politicians. They do do it to all politicians, but they do it far more often to those politicians who actually matter: the government.
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-30 14:54
Quoting Jiggsbro:
With opposition as ineffective as we have in Scotland, and opposition as indistinguishab le from government as we have in Westminster, I want the media to hold the government to account.

Watergate - most famously - became public because journalists exposed it, not because of opposition politicians. The media play an important role in questioning politicians. They do do it to all politicians, but they do it far more often to those politicians who actually matter: the government.

Ineffective opposition, yes bias reporting, yes. My point is what should be, and I won't support the cheap childish games played by either media or the media there is nothing they do or say that is for the benefit of our country, it merely shows that the adversarial system is past it's sell by date. Lets not encourage them any more.
 
 
# Displaced Patriot 2012-04-30 08:31
I agree with Dowanhill the Scottish Government should ban the BBC the same way they ban comments.
Give lots of attention to STV nd to SKY TV too.
Let us make the BBC the story, instead of letting them manipulate the story.
 
 
# CharlieObrien 2012-04-30 13:37
That sounds like a sound idea hope it takes off.
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 08:35
Great work again by NNS.

If only ever voter in Scotland could see this.
 
 
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-04-30 08:50
A very fair and balanced article on the Herald about the last week's events.

heraldscotland.com/.../...

Need to heavily comment on these threads so the Herald realise we just want fairness, not SNP bias.

Hopefully a certain person from the West Midlands and a certain person from Renfrewshire will refrain from trolling it.
 
 
# megz 2012-04-30 08:58
surely this evidence of an agenda could be enough for ofcom to do something about a supposed 'impartial' state broadcaster. They could teach russian tv a thing or two!
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-04-30 09:54
unfortunately ofcom do not deal with bias on the BBC. This is down to the BBC Trust.
 
 
# FREEDOM1 2012-04-30 09:04
I watched the Russia Today news and they were on about BBC bias in their reporting. They showed part of the video with brian taylor and and the other toady who does the politics show in london. I think it was an EU mp who was complaining but I only saw half of the story. I will watch the next news on RT and see if they repeat the story.
 
 
# FREEDOM1 2012-04-30 09:15
The story on RT is called Report and Distort is on now. BBC bias
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 09:25
Thanks for the info. Changed over and caught the story within minutes.

It's good to know that other countries are now becoming aware off the bias that exists within the BBC.
 
 
# The_Duke 2012-04-30 10:13
Does anyone know where/how this can found? I would like to view the whole piece and do not have Russia Today
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 10:18
Its on,

rt.com/on-air/

Right now.

I saw the report on TV and online. It may well repeat throughout the day online.
 
 
# The_Duke 2012-04-30 10:43
Many thanks!
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-04-30 20:57
Tried to record to put on youtube but they've stopped playing it :( Hope somebody has got it.. Will try contact them for a copy.
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 21:27
RT have a lot of news clips on Youtube. I have emailed them and asked if they can put the BBC clip on. It is definitely worth seeing.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-04-30 21:32
I got it recorded.. It came on again. Will get it on youtube in the next couple of hours. :)
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 21:37
Sweet.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-04-30 23:44
Here you go! enjoy

youtu.be/tG3XtCmqI64
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2012-05-01 09:15
Thanks - well worth watching.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-05-01 09:36
Sorry, but what a disappointing report.

Who is this slightly fanatical woman in this dark room talking about bias - sorry she just does not come across well.

The the guy from UKIP saying the BBC do propaganda better than Goebbels yet fails to give one example.

In fact, there are no examples given of any propaganda from the BBC in the whole report - it's just laughable.
 
 
# DonaldMhor 2012-04-30 09:24
I have been drawn back on to this site having stomped of in the huff recently as I think there is something that has been missed.

On the day when Trump made a clown of himself in Holyrood, the very first BBC bulletin at the subsequent press conference, which may have been on the lunch time news, showed GLENN CAMPBELL asking TRUMP, "do you have any evidence to show Alex Salmonds lies?" To which the Trump replied, "yes there will be evidence but I don't have it with me, but my people were there," I thought that is very strong even from the Campbell. I then noticed that on the rest of the repeated bulletins that day that this part had been edited out?

Secondly Wave Machine has expressed the view that we need to move on and ignore this BBC thing. I totally disagree, we need to keep on top of the BBC and any other MSM outlet in Scotland. These are the messages that are beamed in to peoples homes and cars and work places every evening and day. NNS is about the only medium that exposes the MSM bias and censoring at BBC Scotland. It is an international scandal. We need to double and re double our efforts.

This is a war of attrition against the SNP and Alex Salmond by the UK State. make no mistake about that. They are just getting started. In a way the long game of waiting until 2014 to vote for independence is playing their game as they have time to crank up the lies and propaganda and set up stings for SNP people. And let us never forget Willie Macrae.

However the flip side of that is that their lies and negativity are part of the toolbox the SNP have to use against them and it appears the message is getting through to the voters. We are part of that toolbox also using the internet, the Cybernats will carry the day as we ram their lies back down their throats.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 09:39
Donald,

You make a very good point regarding Glenn Campbell. For him to use that word 'lies' in such a way is very unprofessional, and to me indicates a prejudicial attitude.

I also agree with you regarding keeping the pressure on the BBC, it does no good to glibly state well, we all know they are biased, so let;s move on. The simple fact is, that many Scots still think the BBC is honest, and impartial.

We need to highlight this blatant political bias as and when it happens.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 09:58
Agreed. His wording accepted the lies as fact and only questioned the availability of evidence. "Do you have any evidence that Alex Salmond lied" would have left both questions - lies and proof - open. I'm guessing that was the reason the original was edited out of later broadcasts; as it was, it was surely actionable. Unfortunately, it's easy to dismiss this as the sort of slip of the tongue that can happen in an unscripted interview.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:04
You really think the use of such strong words are as you put it, 'easy to dismiss as a slip of the tongue?

I hardly think so.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 12:56
Then I hardly think you have any experience of the stresses of broadcasting. In fact, I wonder if you have any experience of talking under pressure at all. Everyone makes mistakes and the more pressure they are under, the more mistakes they make. Barack Obama implied in a speech that there were 52 states in the US. That was a slip of the tongue jumped on by his opponents (the same opponents who excused all of Dubya's far worse manglings of language).

"Do you have any evidence to show Alex Salmonds lies?" is ambiguously phrased. It can be interpreted as "Alex Salmond lied. Do you have any evidence of those lies?" or as "Do you have any evidence that Alex Salmond lied". During an unscripted interview, in which the interviewer is trying to form new questions while listening to the answers to previous questions, it is very easy to form that sentence intending the second meaning, while overlooking the first meaning. Language is tricky, and trickier still under pressure. We have no way of knowing which meaning was in Campbell's mind when he asked the question. We certainly have no way of proving his thoughts one way or the other. It is not helpful, therefore, to declare it as bias. It's very easy for the BBC to dismiss it as poor phrasing in the heat of the moment. It's even easier for people who are looking for bias to seize on ambiguity and claim it as proof, and easier still to insist that your own reading of an ambiguous phrase is necessarily the 'correct' one. My immediate response to reading it was to see only the first meaning. Other will have seen only the second. None of us know which was 'correct', only which was appropriate.
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-04-30 13:28
'slip of the tongue' more like a Freudian slip ! Glenn better watch himself ...he's being watched (not in a sinister way I mean). I wonder if Glenns ever put hic CV into Sky News ?
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-30 15:01
Jiggsbro, A quote. " When you hear the words you have spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools" etc
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-04-30 17:43
Hi Jiggsbro

You are right of course in that as people are put under pressure they make "mistakes". As someone who deals with communication on a regular basis in my work, I would say that when stress or pressure increases, the individual is more likely to "make a slip" based on their underlying belief system. So in effect,the pressure shows them for what they are.

In this case I would say that the "pressure" (I think you exaggerate this in this case) on Glen brought out of him his innate belief system, i.e. Salmond is SNP therefore a liar.

This is reflected in most of his interviews with politicians. If you look at them objectively, it is clear that he is more aggressive towards the SNP, closely followed by the Tories. Labour always gets a free ride.

It may be a human trait, but in a professional interviewer for a supposedly unbiased corporation,his bias (and many others in the BBC) is unwelcome, and undemocratic.
 
 
# nchanter 2012-04-30 10:29
Hear Hear. Donald.
 
 
# Robabody 2012-04-30 11:52
Welcome back Big D. Good post!
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-04-30 09:24
The BBC's bias which is quite wide ranging and more often about suppressing news uncomfortable for Labour ( usually explained by "time constraints") or ignoring it completely. ( usually explained by "editorial decisions") is no longer in question as a great many examples backed up with direct evidence have already been shown.

The ones where they actually edit footage for example to make the First Minister appear to be smirking about serious news from his finance secretary can be explained by arrogance and the unchecked power they have to manipulate our news.

So far so ordinary. The depressing part is that even having the temerity to highlight their bias leads to accusations of indulging in cybernattery and refusing to accept that the Government should be robustly questioned.

Curiously such people while eager for the "cybernats" to button it and stop criticising the BBC fail to acknowledge the biggest problem in Scotland at the moment which is that the media never hold the unionist opposition to account.
 
 
# crazytonic 2012-04-30 09:28
O/T
I've been looking for something about this for quite some time, and having given up thought I'd ask the question here, so I apologise if you think it is a waste of time. First off, let me own up to being a nationalist... but I have an apparently pro-union question to be answered (more for clarity!).
We've had lots of debate about NATO membership, companies not investing in Scotland etc. etc. What about Universitys? I work in academia and the one question that keeps popping up is post-independence funding. Currently a lot of funding (including my salary) comes from the UK research councils. Now I don't doubt that the SNP will continue to support Universitys, indeed I half expect funding to increase, but nationwide services, such as the UK supercomputer (currently based in Scotland) or the Fusion test station JET (Oxford) could be threatened unless cooperation occurs. Now one thing about research councils is that they are good at international cooperation because they have to be, but has anyone heard anything about this side of the debate? After all research helps industry and vice-versa so shouldn't really be left out of the debate!
Thoughts on this are welcome!!
 
 
# Macart 2012-04-30 10:45
@crazytonic

This is a section from a piece on shovel ready projects by NNS from a few days ago see this story - newsnetscotland.com/.../...

University projects worth £35m including: University of Glasgow - Centre for Virology Research; University of Dundee - Phases 2 and 3 - refurbishment of Duncan of Jordanstone; University of Abertay / Dundee College - Dundee Academy of Sport; University of Edinburgh - Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences.

These projects as the story points out are costed and shovel ready. Hope this helps.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-30 12:38
Good question, I am in the same position job wise. I think this comes under the "we will operate as a normal developed country" category and would expect that funding will be as good as that in the UK in the short term and probably better in the long term because we will be reliant on our research to develop a competitive economy. Nothing is for granted but the way UK research funding is going we have no guarantees of well-funded public science going forward.
I expect things like the Edinburgh supercomputer will remain where they are - what needs to change?
I have no idea what will replace funding councils - there will certainly be national councils but I don't think a straight clone of the likes of EPSRC will necessarily be what emerges as we are a much smaller community. The research pooling model seems very much in favour.
 
 
# crazytonic 2012-04-30 12:52
Ahha! You know where the supercomputer is based ;-) Indeed I think the current one will stay put - the question is the next one which is currently under discussions (Westminster have already delayed it once and probably will again). Part of my work is looking after it in Edinburgh and it has crossed my mind that Westminster will not allow the next one to be based up here out of principle despite us having the best facilities for it currently (rather than having to build a new facility). But hopefully, I think the group I work in will always find funding because we are international leaders, but it will be a pity to see facilities removed simply because of political squabbling.
 
 
# gt-cri 2012-04-30 16:31
Hi crazytonic,

There are many collaborative projects between countries throughout the world. I'd imagine once the decision is made & Independence negotiations are initiated, one of the precursors for them would be to agree a "status quo" of projects under way. Just like the exported electricity, oil & gas etc.

Once the negotiations have been completed, there will need to be treaties drawn up to define the collaboration between the "stake-holders" in both "countries".

Westminster will require to re-define who they govern over, which is another non-debated issue-don't hold your breath for that to be made public!

The squabbles will recede over time and once the die-hards get it clear the UK's time is up, a more mature debate will ensue. Skullduggery will always be around the corner but they'll have to be very clever, as it would give the Scots the upper-hand, as the natural "engine" of research, utilities and premises for the geographic "Britain", in many areas.

The "rump-uk" negotiating team will quickly realise they're not dealing with amateurs!
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-30 18:48
We probably know a lot of the same people, possibly even each other.

Why wouldn't we build our own supercomputer as the next one.

Your group at Edinburgh is world class and bound to be well-supported by the SG which continually makes a point of the number of top universities we have.

I can't see equipment being removed. Remember UK assets will be divvied up on independence. Things which are bolted in will tend to remain where they are.

Also I think Westminster will be much more cooperative than they currently pretend once we are independent.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:46
Quoting crazytonic:
O/T
I've been looking for something about this for quite some time, and having given up thought I'd ask the question here, so I apologise if you think it is a waste of time. First off, let me own up to being a nationalist... but I have an apparently pro-union question to be answered (more for clarity!).
We've had lots of debate about NATO membership, companies not investing in Scotland etc. etc. What about Universitys? I work in academia and the one question that keeps popping up is post-independence funding. Currently a lot of funding (including my salary) comes from the UK research councils. Now I don't doubt that the SNP will continue to support Universitys, indeed I half expect funding to increase, but nationwide services, such as the UK supercomputer (currently based in Scotland) or the Fusion test station JET (Oxford) could be threatened unless cooperation occurs. Now one thing about research councils is that they are good at international cooperation because they have to be, but has anyone heard anything about this side of the debate? After all research helps industry and vice-versa so shouldn't really be left out of the debate!
Thoughts on this are welcome!!



You know you raise a good question. Unless you have already done so, why not send it to Mike Russell, the education secretary in the Scottish Government for his view.
 
 
# crazytonic 2012-04-30 13:03
I think I might just do that!
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-04-30 13:28
be sure to let us know the answer
 
 
# border reiver 2012-04-30 10:16
It is very important that we keep monitoring the bias being reported on the BBC as there will come a day of reckoning for them. I seem to remember someone reporting that during one of the Welsh Assembly elections the BBC would not release details of complaints until they were forced to under the Freedom of Information Act. If we keep sending in genuine complaints and when the time is right someone does the same it will be very embarasing and hightlight the frustration and concerns of viewers.
It is also important that we keep our cool on this, as the SNP politicians are very good at rebounding the bias and critisism within the limited scope they are given by reporters. People are surely seeing through this and are mainly concerned about their pensions, free prescriptions, student fees and council tax freeze etc, which is our strength
 
 
# border reiver 2012-04-30 10:17
RT the Russian tv channel are doing a good hatchet job on the BBC on their news reports
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:32
Yes, I watched their report earlier today on BBC bias, and in relation to Scottish independence.

I am glad that at last the message is getting out, that the BBC simply cannot be trusted. Never forget, that political bias is something handled by the BBC trust, and the BBC trust chairman is appointed by David Cameron and the queen.
 
 
# border reiver 2012-04-30 10:23
Hows this for a laugh - the BBC building which they are currently vacating in London is nicknamed the "Hub of Truth"
Any suggestions for a name of their new building?
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 10:51
From the article:

Quote:
The viewer and listener are left with the impression that Johann Lamont’s claim, that Salmond is the only leader to have met Rupert Murdoch after the Millie Dowler episode, is accurate. The viewer and listener are also left with the impression that Ed Miliband had not sought endorsement from the Sun.


I don't know why the viewer might be left with the impression that Miliband hadn't sought endorsement from the Sun, given that the subject wasn't mentioned at all. I do know that any intelligent viewer would not have been left with the impression that Johann Lamont’s claim, "that Salmond is the only leader to have met Rupert Murdoch after the Millie Dowler episode", is accurate, not least because she didn't make that claim. She - cynically and disingenuously - made the claim that Alex Salmond is the only leader to have invited him round for tea, and as far as I know, he is. Miliband met Murdoch at Murdoch's invitation.

In any event, Lamont is leader of Scottish Labour, not Miliband. Miliband is not even an MSP. What Miliband might have got up to is necessarily of less interest to a Scottish news broadcast than what the First Minister may have done.

Yes, there is a superficial appearance of bias in the report, given the soundbites they chose to broadcast. We might prefer that Lamont's point was followed by Alex's refutation of it. But in practice, news reports choose the soundbites that illustrate the story. In this case, the story - reduced to its essentials to fit into a news broadcast - is the opposition parties making allegations of dodgy dealings and the FM refuting them by pointing out that his job is to lobby for Scottish jobs. That story was related, with each party leader having one soundbite chosen. It's worth considering that Lamont's soundbite showed her as shrill, bordering on hysterical and interested only in the negative while the FM's showed him as confident, unruffled and primarily interested in Scotland, jobs and the positive.

There is bias at the BBC, not least because they would be directly affected by independence. But, having accepted that, it then becomes easy to consider every example of news reporting which doesn't focus on what we might prefer it to focus on as an example of that bias. It's easy to forget, or not consider, the realities and practicalities of news broadcasting. There's a lot of news to fit into 30 minutes. Of that news, emphasis is naturally given to items that the editors consider the public to be most interested in. That might leave little time to cover a story like this, and in that little time the BBC seeks balance - especially in the week before an election - by allowing a soundbite from every major party leader. Not all the details from FMQs can make it into that brief news item. We won't all like the choice of soundbites or what was left out. As it happens, I do like the choice, because I think the FM came out looking like the only one caring about what the average punter cares about. But not showing the things we want them to show is not bias. The report showed, in the time available, the principle points raised by each leader. TV news always has been, and remains, a very poor place to get anything more than headline news, simply because it tries to cover all the important news in a short broadcast. In this case, it did so with as much balance as was possible. There may be people who choose to vote based on the inevitably superficial representation of issues provided by TV news. Some of those will have thought Labour was on to something. Some will think the FM was standing up for Scotland. In both cases, they're more likely to have chosen the impression which matches their prejudices, rather than having been swayed from one political stance to another.
 
 
# macdoc 2012-04-30 11:00
[quote name="Jiggsbro"]From the article:

In any event, Lamont is leader of Scottish Labour, not Miliband. Miliband is not even an MSP. What Miliband might have got up to is necessarily of less interest to a Scottish news broadcast than what the First Minister may have done.quote]

This is where I disagree.Labour, Conservative and LD MSP's are merely puppets, they are of minor importance in the national scheme of things within there respective parties. They would never be speaking to Murdoch or any any one else with huge British or international interest for precisely these reasons. So it is significant to the Scottish viewer that the party leaders of the British parties all had significant meetings with Murdoch because these British parties play a huge part in Scottish politics.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 11:55
Quoting macdoc:
So it is significant to the Scottish viewer that the party leaders of the British parties all had significant meetings with Murdoch because these British parties play a huge part in Scottish politics.


No, it's significant to UK viewers, who include Scots. Scottish news focuses on...well, Scottish news. Miliband is not an MSP nor even a Scottish MSP. Neither are the other UK party leaders. As you say, Labour, Conservative and LD MSP's are merely puppets, which is precisely why they have no links to Murdoch and therefore there is nothing to report about them.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:18
Sorry, jiggsbro, but on many, many occasions BBC Scotland have interviewed Miliband, Cameron and Clegg, up here in Scotland. Indeed, only a month or so ago, Isobel Fraser carried out a rather good interview with Nick Clegg on BBC Scotland.

It is only now, in relation to Murdoch that they seem to focus on the SNP, with nary a mention of the Labour party leader, Ed Miliband.

What you are trying to argue is hogwash.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 12:31
Yes. 'Up here in Scotland' being the key phrase. They've been interviewed because they've been up here. They've been interviewed because being up here is Scottish news, while being down there is not. They've been interviewed because they've said or done something of particular relevance to Scotland. They will have been interviewed about Scottish matters (or how UK matters affect Scotland). Because that's what Reporting Scotland is for: reporting Scotland. Miliband's meeting with Murdoch is not Scottish news. There's no Scottish angle whatsoever. Why would Reporting Scotland start reporting England?
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:48
Ach, don't be daft. They have also been interviewed in London too. Do you never watch politics Scotland?? They have a dedicated Westminster correspondent - purely for BBC Scotland.

Your argument is getting more tenuous as time passes. How many more 'ifs' and buts' will you add?
 
 
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-04-30 13:39
Quote:
Miliband's meeting with Murdoch is not Scottish news.


How cant Millibands meeting not be of interest to Scottish voters ? Before the last Scottish election he stated that "He wanted Scottish Labour winning to be the stepping stone to him being in power in the UK" . Now if he's been courting Murdoch as well (which we know he has) then Labour should be questioned about this anytime they are on the BBC attacking the SNP for the same thing. Thats balanced journalism. You cant try and tell Scottish voters that the SNP have been chasing the 'Great Satan' when the Labour opposition are no better. Since we are still in the UK what Milliband does is of great relevance to Scottish voters as he could be our leader one day.
 
 
# gt-cri 2012-04-30 16:56
Absolute piffle! Rep Jockland often spends the first 10mins on stories which have only the most tenuous links to Scots or Scotland. More often than not, they include the same piece from the main news shown a few minutes before.

Trying to twist the facts to validate your point? A fine Unionist tactic.

Your attention to detail on picking the smallest of detail & magnifying it is to be admired though! Why not offer your services to NNS, as proof-reader of articles, to ensure they conform to your high standard?
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:13
Quoting macdoc:
[quote name="Jiggsbro"]From the article:

In any event, Lamont is leader of Scottish Labour, not Miliband. Miliband is not even an MSP. What Miliband might have got up to is necessarily of less interest to a Scottish news broadcast than what the First Minister may have done.quote]

This is where I disagree.Labour, Conservative and LD MSP's are merely puppets, they are of minor importance in the national scheme of things within there respective parties. They would never be speaking to Murdoch or any any one else with huge British or international interest for precisely these reasons. So it is significant to the Scottish viewer that the party leaders of the British parties all had significant meetings with Murdoch because these British parties play a huge part in Scottish politics.




I wholly agree with you macdoc.


the simple fact is, that there is no such entity registered for elections called 'Scottish Labour'. The Labour party pretend that they are a separate party in Scotland, but they are merely a regional branch of the Labour Party with its head office in London.

Johan Lamont is as much a leader of the Labour party, as I am the president of France. Her role is a sham, with no authority whatsoever.

Ed Miliband - leader of the Labour party

David Cameron - leader of the conservative party

Nick Clegg - leader of the Liberal Democrats

Alex Salmond - leader of the SNP.


So, BBC Scotland should take an interest in all of these and their behaviour. The notion that only Alex Salmond is relevant in Scotland is absurd.

Their is no excuse for blatant BBC bias.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 12:25
BBC Scotland takes an interest in Scottish issues. Scottish MPs and MSPs are a Scottish issue. English MPs are not. Miliband is an English MP who leads a UK party. He's therefore of relevance to English news broadcasts and UK news broadcasts. He's not relevant to Scottish news broadcasts unless he's involved in a Scottish issue.

Reporting Scotland, as its name suggests, is not 'the UK news for Scottish viewers', it's 'the Scottish news for Scottish viewers'. It reports on Scotland and issues affecting Scotland. The 'national' news reports on UK issues (and English issues because there is no 'Reporting England'). Reporting Scotland has no brief to take an interest in UK politicians unless and until there is a Scottish angle. It's a regional news programme. There is blatant BBC bias, but it does not exist in 'Reporting Scotland' failing to report on something that didn't happen in Scotland, didn't involve Scottish politicians, didn't directly affect Scotland...that doesn't, in short, involve reporting Scotland.
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 12:40
Do you believe Reporting Scotland edits and presents news in a way so as to be favourable to Labour and the union?
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 13:08
yes
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-30 13:13
Thanks. I was hoping for an answer from Jiggsbro, but his lack of reply tells me all I need to know.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:59
jiggsbro,

Yet again you state things which are simply not true.

Reporting Scotland almost every night features a story regarding England, or the UK and it is usually the main story being covered in the main BBC broadcasts. It is not necessarily a Scottish story.

For you to assert that "Reporting Scotland, as its name suggests, is not 'the UK news for Scottish viewers', it's 'the Scottish news for Scottish viewers'. It reports on Scotland and issues affecting Scotland", is simply not true.
 
 
# gt-cri 2012-04-30 17:15
Oh dear, flailing blindly now.

The BBC has 11 English regional TV news bulletin centres.

You're still twisting the argument: English MP's are not a Scottish issue? You used Watergate, I'll use Boris Johnston, John Major, thon woman from the Scotland Committee & the most infamous, George Cunningham from the '79 referendum; an Scot representing an English seat. Oh but that conforms to your definition, doesn't it? :-)
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-04-30 17:51
Quote:
BBC Scotland takes an interest in Scottish issues.


Gosh, that's a moot point. I would suggest that BBC Scotland takes an interest in whatever is beneficial to the Union position, irrespective of its merit as news,or relevance.

Do you actually watch BBC Scotland?
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-04-30 12:56
Quote:
In any event, Lamont is leader of Scottish Labour, not Miliband. Miliband is not even an MSP. What Miliband might have got up to is necessarily of less interest to a Scottish news broadcast than what the First Minister may have done.


This is true but given that the vast bulk of News Corp's shennagins took place in London then the same standard should be applied. Apart from a handful of individuals who may have been hacked, Tommy Sherridan, McConnell (perhaps) this has not been a Scottish story so this is hardly a Holyrood issue. McConnell, if he was hacked was hacked when Blair and Brown were never away from Murdoch's side.

However, where I think you are right is that we need to take a chill pill on the BBC. For long and weary the likes of the Times, Guardian and the Telegraph have been populated by swivel eyed loons ranting about the "hated BBC". Yes, there is a lean in the BBC to pro Europe, BritNat, left of centre politics but it can be tackled without taking leave of our senses. If we were to obsess about the Beeb and any perceived bias to the point it becomes our bette noir then any legitimate arguments we may have, such as bias when it really matters, will be easier to brush aside just as the right wing loons on the Telegraph have been brushed aside for decades. Let us not dig this bear pit for ourselves. Patiently and carefully correct every error and put every counter argument on every organ that will listen but avoid sounding like it is a personal vendetta.

An awfully large percentage of Scots get their News from the likes of STV, Sky News and, despite everything that has happened, the Sun. The BBC do not have a monopoly.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-04-30 12:06
Aye but BBC "national" TV news run Salmond / Lamont exchange and failed to show the Miliband page held up by Alex SAlmond
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 12:15
I didn't see the national news, but I'm guessing they gave even less time to FMQs than Reporting Scotland. If that's the case, it's hardly biased to report Lamont's entirely true claim and the FM's entirely appropriate response about jobs. That brief exchange was representative of the much longer exchange, even if it necessarily had to leave out a lot of detail. It is not bias to fail to report whatever you think would put the politicians you support in the best light.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-30 12:50
Jiggsboro, I'm with you on this. There is a tendency on this site to badge as bias what is simply robust questioning of politicians we happen to agree with.

Also, I agree with others who argue that none of this will make a blind bit of difference to how the vast majority vote on Thursday.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 13:05
But as well documented above, and in previous instances, the accusations of bias are not merely because of robust questioning. It is the fact that robust questioning is only directed at the SNP.

It's an important difference.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2012-04-30 18:59
There are examples of Scottish Labour getting a roasting from BBC Scotland.
Gordon Brewer skewered Jack McConnell on the Council Tax before the 2007 election.
More recently, Isabel Fraser has frequently given Labour politicians a hard time on Politics Scotland.
I ain't saying they're not biased, they are and we all know examples.
I am saying that they are entitled to robustly question SNP ministers. I'm also saying I don't think they line people like Robertson take in interviewing is particularly competent or effective.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:51
You make a good point 'from the suburbs', but the argument getting pushed by jiggsbro is fluff. Of course BBC Scotland are interested in the main party leaders, including Alex Salmond, whether in Scotland or not.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-04-30 12:20
Slightly O/T (I think). I note the concerns of some that the protest planned for May 26th against the BBC at Pacific Quay, will not get the coverage from at least the BBC themselves and possibly STV as well.
What many are forgetting is the power of the internet and the fact that you have open access to You Tube.
Allit takes is a few well placed uploads of video's onto You Tube and for that to spread for people to realise that 1. There was a protest against the BBC for their bias and 2. why wasnt it coverd by the BBC as well as other media outlets.
Perhaps now is the time for NNS to establish their own Video channel on You Tube to faciltate those who want to upload videos of this nature.
In addition I would encourage those with decent video camera's to take them along and record the event.
Remember, one thing that the unionists hate is the open access to the internet
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:52
You might also want to supply them to Russia Today (RT.com), who as other pointed out above are running with a story on BBC bias today, including bias against Scottish independence.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-04-30 16:13
I heard about this.. Is there any written version of this article on BBC Bias on RT? Or a video? I can't find it.
 
 
# naemairleesplease 2012-04-30 19:11
Me too please. I've looked and can't find it.
I also wonder why people here would think that a russian news source wouldn't be biased against the bbc.
The way things are going on newsnet these days, I expect not to get a reply to this.

Of course I'm trying to goad you into giving me a link.

For the record, I'm pro snp, although not a member and probably never will be but I would donate to them, I am DEFINITELY pro independence and always will be, even if we lose the referendum and I believe Salmonds/snp version of events in all the stooshie that has been going on here.
Also , I think the one quote that stands out in all this is, I think, from Taxi McClatchie, something like "a plague on all houses".
I.E. They're all at it!

@Jiggsbro

I haven't always agreed with your comments on this site and even on this topic I think you've been wrong on some things but well done for all the energy you've had to argue you're case, especially since almost everyone has been against you.

@Newsnetscotlan d

On May 6th 2011, the morning after the Scottish parliamentary elections, I found a link to your website on one of the Scotsman's reader comments. I clicked on it and WOW, here was a website that seemed to tell the truth about Scottish Nationalism, about Scotland's place in the UK, about Scotland's economy, culture etc. For the next 10 months I would get up early in the morning (no easy feat for a lazy bas like me) and log onto NNS to see what you were saying. It was like an addiction.

But in the last couple of months (or whatever, I don't remember when)it seems like I've been reading some sort of Scottish Nationalist version of the Daily Mail. I don't like it. In fact it's very embarrassing. I used to advise friends to look up NNS but now I wouldn't. I think it's becoming counterproducti ve to the nationalist cause. We all go on about how the unionists are negative but it seems the only thing that NNS can do is be negative about unionists
I do agree that the BBC are biased and so do most people who read this website (I hope).
So please NNS, lets move on to something else.
I'm getting sick of this story.
It is a "Storm in a Teacup"
Let the unionists argue about it if they want.
We've got better things to speak about.
Let's get on with it.
Eh?
 
 
# Fungus 2012-05-01 00:26
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 12:29
Jiggsbro


QUOTE from your post above

"Yes, there is a superficial appearance of bias in the report, given the soundbites they chose to broadcast. We might prefer that Lamont's point was followed by Alex's refutation of it."


I'm really sorry but you can play with words all you like, with a sham appearance of reasonableness, but it is STANDARD journalistic practise to show both the accusation and the rebuttal in politics. For you to attempt to assert that actually it's pretty normal to only show the accusation is utter tosh.


You then go on to say;

QUOTE "But not showing the things we want them to show is not bias."

Well on that point I agree. However, the accusations of bias are not based upon the BBC simply 'not showing' what we want to see, and I guess you knew that. The accusations of bias are asserted in quite considerable detail in the article above. So either you haven't read the article before responding, or you are merely being disingenuous.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-30 12:41
Quoting Robert Louis:
I'm really sorry but you can play with words all you like, with a sham appearance of reasonableness, but it is STANDARD journalistic practise to show both the accusation and the rebuttal in politics.


I'm neither playing with words nor feigning reasonableness. There was no rebuttal to Lamont's point, because it was true. There was a response from the FM which explained why he met Murdoch, which rebuts the implications of Lamont's point. The stuff about Miliband was not a rebuttal. It was an effective way of batting the point back to Lamont and embarrassing her, but it did not rebut her point. If there was time for only one soundbite from each, I prefer them to have shown the negative smear from Lamont followed by the positive one in which the FM stood up for Scotland and Scottish jobs, rather than two negative ones in which both tried to smear each other.

Quoting Robert Louis:
For you to attempt to assert that actually it's pretty normal to only show the accusation is utter tosh.


It would be tosh, yes. I haven't said that, and for you to claim I have is utter tosh.


Quoting Robert Louis:
Well on that point I agree. However, the accusations of bias are not based upon the BBC simply 'not showing' what we want to see, and I guess you knew that. The accusations of bias are asserted in quite considerable detail in the article above. So either you haven't read the article before responding, or you are merely being disingenuous.


I read the article, thanks. If you'd read my post, you'd know that I was referring to FMQs only and the 'failure' to show the Ed Miliband response specifically. For you to take that sentence out of context and attempt to apply it to the entire article implies you didn't read the post before responding or you are merely being disingenuous.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 13:02
You know jiggsbro, you have repeatedly mis appropriated comments and stated things to be fact when they are not. You have taken comments made fairly by others and literally distorted them. I like reasoned argument, not your kind of flim-flam.

I think it pointless discussing anything of substance with you.

I'm off out to get some troll food.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-04-30 12:36
This appears to be sure evidence of what is going on, cannot the Newsnetscotland team send this to whatever body actually governs the fairness of the press? also a copy into, new complaint to the BBC.
Like to see their answer to this one, their standard denial would not hold water here.
 
 
# Andrew F 2012-04-30 13:03
I was sent a link to this from a JWC lecturer this morning its apparent the independence debate has reached all corners of the dis-uk.Read this its a fine example of people taking false reporting, stereo types and pseudo econmics as fact.Feel free to register and correct the poor souls.
flyforums.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Tommy Kelly 2012-04-30 13:28
The BBC are a unionist organisation and will do everything in their power to persuade Scotland to remain within the union. No matter how much we complain, nothing will change and therefore those who support Scottish independence must use every means at their disposal to promote that objective. Most people now get more information from social media so everyone who supports independence should take every opportunity to spread the message by Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.

You can follow us on Twitter @newsnetscotlan d.
We are also on Facebook
www.facebook.com/.../
 
 
# Leswil 2012-05-05 12:19
Tommy,
I disagree with your comment -"The BBC are a unionist organisation and will do everything in their power to persuade"

Well I think persuade is not exactly right.
Try cheat, lie, manipulate, misinform and more.
THAT would be more accurate!
However, I totally agree with your sentiment, and your thinking IS correct, in that, social media should be used to the max.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-04-30 13:43
Reading through the discussion here, I think there are a few points being missed.

Jiggsbro mentions a couple of things, firstly to compare the journalism we see today with 'Watergate'. I think this is misguided. The Watergate investigation took place over many months, it was a piece by piece investigation that was reported in a newspaper, and a newspaper that came under fire when it first published articles into the story and was put under real political pressure whilst doing so. The comparison of this investigation with todays media which is really just a regurgitation of press releases it not accurate.
Certainly with tv journalism, the 15 second sounbite and the 'gone tomorrow' story bears no resemblance to an in-depth journalistic investigation such as Watergate. They are poles apart, and while Jiggsbro says he wants ' the media to hold the government to account ' - I could think of nothing worse with the media as it is today.

Following on from this, Jiggsbro's next comment I think is interesting is this ' It is not bias to fail to report whatever you think would put the politicians you support in the best light.'


No, it may not be bias, but it's selective reporting and pretty poor journalism. You also commented earlier that there is a lot of news to get into the 30 minutes of Reporting Scotland. I couldn't disagree more. This for me is the crux of the matter. It's the quality of journalism that is the real issue here.

Reporting Scotland will have a rough template that they work from, say they must have 10 stories per programme, they must have sport, they must have weather, then try to vary the mix with one business, political, murder, human interest and no story to be over 2 or 3 minutes. In doing so, they completely hamper themselves to be adaptable or to spend more time on each story. In this instance, the Salmond/Murdoch story could easily have been given 5 or 6 minutes within Reporting Scotland, with some in depth responses/ some questions 'on camera' - (we never see that with BBC Scotland journalists). There was plenty there to talk about and plenty of reaction to cover, but no, the BBC kept it to little soundbites and some pretty ham fisted editing of FMQ's. It simply is not good enough.

There is no reason for this, I remember at the height of the crash in 2008 we would regularly have the first 10 minutes of the 6 O'clock news covering one story - say on Northern Rock, reported by Robert Peston who would be asking questions ' on camera' to banking officials and others.

This never happens at BBC Scotland. It also explains when it does happen, as you gave an example with Glenn Campbell, he screws it up and throws in the word 'lies' a highly pejorative term. Did the pressure of a 'live' broadcast get to him ? - who knows, but surely with his experience of handling politicians and tv debates we would expect better of him.

It my opinion, this is where the calls of 'bias' against BBC Scotland don't help, because it just becomes an fight of 'he said/ she said' proportions. Much more useful is to dissect the way news programmes are formatted and question them for their tired formatting of soundbites and press releases.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-04-30 13:52
you've argued this often Tartan and I have to say that I think your approach is a very sensible one. We should focus on the quality of the BBC coverage rather than on perceived bias which is much more subjective and much harder to prove.
 
 
# rob4i 2012-04-30 13:51
What I would like to see is the TRUE Scots of this country take off the kid gloves and advertise widely the disgraceful reporting conduct of the BRITISH broadcasting company over their disgusting twisting of the news by editing political footage to show it as it wasn't, for their own pathetic,corrup t Unionist ends.

I feel that we should truly get across to the Scottish people what they have been suffering over the past few decades with dishonest, Unionist diatribe and their self-serving agendas to the detriment of our great country and it is well beyond time that we rid ourselves for GOOD of the Unionist Ideal from Scotland, whether it be as friends or estranged!!
 
 
# RTP 2012-04-30 13:56
Quote from Tartan.

This never happens at BBC Scotland. It also explains when it does happen, as you gave an example with Glenn Campbell, he screws it up and throws in the word 'lies' a highly pejorative term. Did the pressure of a 'live' broadcast get to him ? - who knows, but surely with his experience of handling politicians and tv debates we would expect better of him.

We all remember Campbell tearing up the SNP manifesto at the 2007 election I think so if that was not gross ignorance I don't know what is.
 
 
# scotsgal 2012-04-30 14:13
I do wonder how the other political parties go about courting the press. It is no secret that many papers back different parties and it has been like this for many years, so why is it ok for the Conservative and Labour parties to have papers that back them and yet a crime for SNP? I personally think the the press and politics are to closely entwined but SNP are playing by the rules set by all the other major parties.

I have to be honest I am not keen on Murdoch but do wonder if in part he is being made a scapegoat, I certainly dont think that all the rest of the national press are totally innocent.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-04-30 14:42
I'll try to explain again, and then I'll shut up, sorry to grind on about this but:

Can noone see the problem with newspapers "holding the government to account"? as NChanter says, "We have police, courts, judges to uphold and process the law, no need for Paxmanites to decide what we should hear,see,or know."

It's not that there is no "need" - can noone see the difference between the police and the courts and the press? Where are the rules and accountability of the press? Voluntary regulation, the Press Complaints Commission - are they in any way comparable to the checks and balances of the police and the courts? But in some ways they have just as much power, they can bring down governments.

The media define what is "quality" themselves, readers are not allowed to do so. Why are people happy to let the press hold others to account if in practice they have no need to answer to anyone? (except if you are a person directly affected). Licensed and (self) authorised to lie you could say, to an extent.

This is not a cartel because it is not a formal agreement. But it still subjects Scots to monopoly-type conditions as regards news (at least as regards the Herald and Scotsman). In its way it is as bad as muzzling the media in totalitarian countries - here it is large sections of the Scottish population who are being muzzled.

In short, why are people content to let the Scottish press deify their biased reporting with this claim "holding the government to account"? I am puzzled.

Also to say that I think Salmond is wrong both in the offer he made and in his approach to the consequences. But the issue of a biased press is a wider issue.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 15:03
I agree with most of what you say, marga, especially the second last paragraph.

I don't however, agree with the last paragraph, as I do not think there is a problem with what the First Minister did. Consider the implications, if it were revealed as part of Leveson, that despite 6000+ jobs potentially being at risk in Scotland from one of its largest employers, it was shown that the First Minister failed to discuss matters with News International because he 'didn't like them very much'. Would Labour and the BBC now be praising him for his 'upright moral stance', or would they be shouting that as First Minister he should not let his personal feelings or moral opinions get in the way of fighting for Scottish jobs. Indeed, it could legitimately be argued in Parliament that he had not carried out his ministerial duties correctly.

The reality is, that as in many things, the First Minister is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. It's a tough call for anybody, especially since they know the way in which the Labour party and BBC will play it no matter what is decided.

The other side to this of course, is this nonsense (not by you, I might add!) that it was all done in order to get News international to support the SNP in the election. Well, if that was true, why is it that the Times (owned by Murdoch) is still opposed to the SNP? Why is it the SUN is still not in favour of independence?

My instinct with this matter, is you can go round the houses forever, trying to guess things, but I genuinely do not believe for one second, that the First Minister acted for any other reason than jobs.

As for the bias by the BBC on this and many other documented stories, well that is there for all to see.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-04-30 15:07
"Cat among the pigeons",and the established order just do not like it----one little bit.
Everything we are witnessing derives from that simple fact.
 
 
# Alx1 2012-04-30 17:08
Hi Marga,

I am breaking my self imposed exile here to reply to you. Still read everyday though.
You make several good points there.
Yesterday I was so incenced by the Herald's obvious straying from its statement that it intends to be more impartial in it approach to main stream politics in Scotland. Or words to that effect.
It has become more obvious over the last few days that the Herald has went into overdrive in its attacks on AS and the SNP. I commented several times in their 'SNP attack' articles, but was heavily censored for not saying much more than already has been said. All i was stating was the blatantly obvious, that this was a witch hunt on AS and the SNP.
I was so incenced by their stories and their cencoring of my comments that I fired of a irate and frustrated email to them.
Here is my complaint.

"Dear Sir/Madam.
I have been trying to post comments, mainly on your political articles, several times lately, but to no avail as the censors on your newspaper have deemed that my comments should not be open to discussion and therefore are being ‘blocked’.
Now given that you (Herald) have intimated, previously, that you intend to pursue a more open minded approach to politics in Scotland today I decided to join in your online discussions.
I feel that I was suckered into believing that you may have changed your political stance, but now I can see it was only to garner as much readers as you can to try and get your biased political position over come election time. I got news for you! This tactic has failed miserably and as of today I will no longer be buying your printed version of the Herald. Your biased political position is very much transparent.
I felt that you were taking a more conciliatory view in today’s political scene. Sadly I was very much mistaken as the last few days have proved my initial assessment of your papers political stance.
The daily tirade of anti SNP stories while at the same time ignoring Labour’s political woes is blatantly obvious. You have shown your hand once again in the run-up to the council elections which can only be described as a kamikaze approach to the Herald survival. It has not gone unnoticed that your circulation figures are spiralling down and this latest blatant show of pro Labour party alliance will, no doubt, hasten that decline.
Please do not refer me to your mission in these debates, I have seen many contributions that lack any sense of intelligence. In fact you have allowed a totally scurrilous comment, from a Labour supporter no doubt, that borders on slander and could be liable for some type of legal action.
Now I’m all for some cut & thrust comments, but when it all becomes one sided, as your censors are allowing, then it becomes a bit more serious and you do ask the question;

“What do you Think” with the added statement of;
“We want to encourage intelligent discussion and debate on HeraldScotland so we need a few rules in place.”
The comment in question is;

Terry Kelly, Renfrewshire
"Salmond and Trump?"
“When thieves fall out” !

On your anti SNP campaign article-‘The Winds of Change’

This comment has been allowed to stay there for 6 days now so please don’t think you are wanting intellectual debate.

This is not the only comment I have seen that borders on less than intelligence."

End.

I'm a bit of a straight talker so I really didn't mince my words.
Their reply is in the next post.
 
 
# Dál Riata 2012-04-30 17:03
O/T sorry, but we now have the Guardian resorting to using its Culture section to smear Alex Salmond!

'Did Salmond give to tickets to Murdoch to attend the theatre ... or not?' (Oh the adrenaline-tingling intrigue of it all!)

By Charlotte Higgins

"...Leaving aside the Murdoch-Salmond aspect for a moment, what intrigues me is the relationship between the National Theatre of Scotland and the Scottish Government. The NTS is funded directly by the Scottish Government. And it feels rather as if Salmond were using the production as a kind of advanced version of corporate entertainment – certainly using Black Watch to reflect well on his Government, in a way that's harder to do (I believe rightly) when the arts are at arm's length. Too close for comfort? It certainly makes me feel a little queasy."
guardian.co.uk/.../...

The London-based MSM at its smearing best - pathetic!

Edit: Having just re-read the above article I noticed the Guardian, having spun its story around an extensive quote from Phil Miller, the arts correspondent of the Herald, does give a link to the Herald article published on Friday, 29th April. Sorry, I should have stated that earlier,

The Herald article is here: heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# Alx1 2012-04-30 17:16
Cont.

The heralds reply to me this morning.

Dear Mr xxxx,

Thanks for your note. You are, obviously, entitled to your opinion of the content which appears in The Herald and on HeraldScotland.
In terms of commenting, there is no “censorship”, just an application of the rules we spell out. So, for example, I had no problem approving your lengthy post yesterday on heraldscotland.com/.../...
However, we won’t post public comments that are not relevant because they’re just accusations of internal bias by our organisation.
Our online debate is far from one-sided, given the large number of pro-SNP comments that appear every day.

Regards,

Calum Macdonald
Group Digital Editor
calum.macdonald@heral dandtimes.co.uk

Then my further reply to that.

Dear Mr MacDonald,

Yes you are right I am entitled to my opinion and my opinion is getting shared by more people by the day, especially in the Herald panic mode anti SNP featured in your paper almost daily.
Yes you allowed my lengthy comment yesterday, but you have refused to allow any of my comments refuting the claims of article authors or even at worst the claim of theives from terry Kelly that you allowed to remain even though there's no proof of this. Where was the censorship and rules there?
I therefore conclude that you/Herald are working to a pro Labour party beat and that's after the Heralds declaration on a more constructive policy towards its political stance at the end of last year.
The evidence of the Heralds political stance over the last few days because of the impending local elections is plain to see for all your readers.
Why not do a correct job and report extensively on the failings in GCC or the lack of policies within the Labour party at this juncture? Or the intimate relationship between Labour in Scotland and BBC Scotland, after all Russia Today is actually covering BBC bias at this very moment. Strange how we have to get the real news from a Russian TV station.
Try and show a bit more balanced reporting in the future (not after the elections) and you may gain some readers instead of losing them as you are at this moment.

Regards.
End.

My point being that everyone on here should fire off their complaints to the relevent biased parties involved.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-04-30 17:34
Alx1,

Is it ok to ask you, why you are on a self imposed exile from NNS? I'm not asking to cause problems, I just genuinely wondered what cause it.

If you don't want to say, that's ok, as really it isn't any of my business.
 
 
# Alx1 2012-04-30 18:05
No problem RL,

A bit over zealous censorship on here.
One of my comments was 'airbrushed' out with no explanation or anything. It was the first in the comments section so I suppose it didn't meet the criteria or tone of the peice.
I have been mod'ed before with an explanation, so being mod'ed doesn't bother me that much and I certainly hold no grudges.
In fact my salary is running late this month so I'm living on my reserve tank, but when it does hit the bank I fully intend to donate to this site.
 
 
# Concerned Scot 2012-04-30 17:22
Just for a bit of counterpoint....Here's a nice pic of Ed Miliband sitting in the Sun's office, holding up a copy of their newspaper, with a big grin on his face

markpack.org.uk/.../...
 
 
# ituna semea 2012-04-30 17:37
The theory now being advanced for the SNP "landslide" is it was "the Sun wot did it".
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-04-30 17:47
Very good ituna, I suggest you e-mail Lamont with that one.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-04-30 17:50
Na, there was only one reason the Sun started backing the SNP... It was because they had been bucking the trend of declining sales (twice the rate of decline in Scotland compared to the UK due to papers having a pro-union / anti-SNP bias) until they did that infamous 'Vote SNP and you put Scotland's head in a noose' front page. Their anti-SNP stance from then on sent sales the same way as all the other pro-union papers, as shown in this graph:

imageshack.us/.../...

That's why Mr Murdoch said he'd 'have an insurrection on his hands' if the Sun did not go SNP. The Scottish Sun editor and his staff value their jobs. It was the SNP what won it with Rupert and co playing catch-up.

Sorry to disappoint you.

EDIT. You might enjoy this (conservative as ICM is known as the most accurate and it's been giving lovely numbers along with AR):

imageshack.us/.../...

In combination with this:

www.scotlandvotes.com/.../

Have fun...
 
 
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-04-30 20:42
Great fun scottish skier, thanks for that!
 
 
# creag an tuirc 2012-04-30 23:10
Thanks Scottish Skier for your graphs and yeah I agree that The Sun had to support the SNP or face closing down.
 
 
# Dál Riata 2012-04-30 18:19
Here's that most unusual of things - a balanced piece of writing pertaining to Murdoch, Salmond and the MSM ... from a columnist employed by the MSM!

"Politicians and the media? They are inextricably linked"

by Andrew McKie in the Herald

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# ukp50 2012-04-30 20:09
This is my first post. This is USA politics, but still suitable for Scottish & UK politics for media watching.
cracked.com/.../...
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-04-30 21:38
Thanks for that and welcome ukp50.

Politics here is not so complicated. We just have "SNP accused" or "isn't the union just fabulous because..."

The first is usually spin and the second usually spam.

Still, amazing how many people you can fool with such simple stuff.
 
 
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-04-30 20:36
Found a curious comment on the Herald today on one of their 'Salmond accused' articles - heraldscotland.com/.../...
It's from Maloclm McCandless - sorry, not sure of the protocol for quoting from other sites but the gist of it is this:
'In an interview with Andrew Marr, Cameron reportedly said, "there was "no great mystery" about his contact with media chiefs as opposition leader as he had "wanted the support" of as many as possible - including the BBC".

?????
 
 
# alicmurray 2012-04-30 22:02
This article about Cameron made me laugh and I wanted to share.

guardian.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# drakkos 2012-05-01 12:26
I don't know if anyone would be interested in another response from the BBC complaints department, but I submitted the following complaint on the 15th of April:

As posted on .../young-unionist-warrior-know-your-enemy.html, it looks very much like prominent members of the BBC are briefing against the SNP. This is not objective journalism - it is full of flaws, prejudices and downright inaccuracies. The slanted perspective the BBC has taken on this issue is tremendously troubling considering the fact it's being funded, in part, by my licence fee. Where is the equivalent briefing *for* independence? It is impossible to believe the BBC is providing a balanced perspective when your own educational materials read like Unionist propaganda.

And the response I got today was:

Thank you for your comments regarding the BBC Journalist Training Video.

The BBC regularly shares the expertise of its key correspondents and presenters on a wide range of issues with newsroom colleagues – and frequently makes it available to the wider public via our College of Journalism educational Online site.

These presentations on the forthcoming referendum in Scotland were aimed primarily at raising awareness of a complex situation for staff throughout the BBC. As part of that process, we will continue to share contributions both from our own staff but also from external participants with an interest in the referendum, including the parties.

The full presentations, which are entirely consistent with BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality and balance, have been Online and available for both staff and the public for some weeks.

We totally reject any suggestion that they are partial.

I have sent a followup asking them to substantiate their claims of impartiality with examples of output from other perspectives. I expect, as you can imagine, nothing but absolute satisfaction from the followup reply to come.
 
 
# enneffess 2012-05-02 17:46
I think the BBC paranoia is getting a little out of hand here.

There IS BBC bias, but not to the extent that some would believe.

Would your rather have James Murdoch running state television in an independent Scotland, because that is precisely what he wants. He has in the past publicly called for the BBC to be disbanded.

On the issue with Murdoch's relationships with political parties, I've recently been making jokes that maybe Salmond's phone has been hacked, but given his evasion at FMQs today, something is most definitely not right.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-05-05 12:21
It is not paranoia, you can see and hear their efforts against us everywhere.
The BBC ranks along with Westminster, Uk is no longer a democracy and is no longer fit for purpose. They are living in the past, others want to move on.
 
 
# gt-cri 2012-05-03 07:19
enneffess,

Even the way you attempt to aim for middle-ground looks way too subjective and positioned to minimise focus on the BBC's output:

"paranoia is getting a little out of hand" so, it's been established that there is paranoia, and it's growing?
 

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