The Power of Early Morning Nightmares: Waking up to BBC Scotland and learning to fear an independent future: 17th April 2018


For an introduction to this series of media-monitoring reports, see:

There were five reports covered with, typically, four in each insert:

  1. Scottish Government funds to tackle domestic abuse
  2. UK Government legal challenge to Scottish and Welsh government’s EU continuity bill
  3. ADHD treatment limitations
  4. Scottish Government’s ‘lack of ambition’ on air pollution
  5. Scotrail strike action during Old Firm Game

The first and second reports could be seen as presenting the Scottish Government in a fairly positive light, supporting an important initiative to reduce domestic abuse and appearing to be protecting Scottish devolution against heavy-handed UK government legal action. The third and fourth reports essentially blame NHS Scotland and then the Scottish Government for failures to act. The Friends of the Earth accusation of ‘lack of ambition’ regarding pollution, repeated five times throughout the morning, will have been quite memorable. The Scotrail strike action threat was only to appear once at 6.25am. Neither the Friends of the Earth accusation nor the Scottish ADHD Coalition sources, which were presented uncritically by the BCC, can be considered reliable as both are campaigning movements rather than independent or academic research centres.

Reports from 16/4 to 17/4/18                                                           Total (previous)

Positive news for SNP / Scottish Government                                    2 (0)

Negative news for SNP / Scottish Government                                  2 (1)

Positive news for Scottish economy                                                    0 (0)

Negative news for Scottish economy                                                  1 (0)

Positive news for Scottish health services                                         0 (0)

Negative news for Scottish health services                                       1 (0)

Other positive news for Scotland                                                        0 (0)

Other negative news for Scotland                                                       3 (2)

Use of reliable sources                                                                           1 (1)

Use of unreliable sources                                                                      3 (1)

Reliance on outdated GDP or other productivity figures               1 (1)


Early days.


5 thoughts on “The Power of Early Morning Nightmares: Waking up to BBC Scotland and learning to fear an independent future: 17th April 2018

  1. Alasdair Macdonald. April 17, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    Thanks for deciding to undertake some objective analysis of your thesis yesterday that there is a ‘thread’ of article which are subliminally pushing the message of ‘Scotland bad.’

    It is useful to check that we are not falling for the ‘confirmation bias’ of our own beliefs.

    With regard to the domestic abuse item, while I agree that it was positive, I think I heard in the introduction to the piece something about abuse(?) being ‘higher in Scotland (Glasgow?)’. I was not paying close attention at the time.


      • Alasdair Macdonald. April 17, 2018 / 5:02 pm

        More like 8.26am – I told you, I do not have to get up at the crack of dawn any more other than for the elderly man’s visit to the toilet in the wee sma oors.

        Liked by 1 person

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