‘No, this stuff stays locked away! We don’t want those Jocks getting ideas above their station.’
(c) New City College, Hackney
I’m always amazed when media executives fail to recognise that the level of public interest in an event is largely the consequence of the amount and type of attention they and their colleagues have chosen to give to it in the first place. For most people, reality is mostly constructed for them by the editorial decisions made in ‘mainstream’ media organisations. Where else would most get their perceptions of reality from except in the rare exceptions where the event has happened in their own town or to someone they know personally.
The recent reporting of knife and gun violence in Scotland is a clear example of how that can be inflated to promote the level of fear of such crime beyond that which the actual and falling level would justify. See these for more detail:
BBC Scotland lie and distort to try again to spread violent crime crisis into Scotland despite it having only 3.5% of the gangs for 8% of the population, falling levels of violent crime and because of falling levels of fear of crime?
Today, Sarah Smith, High Heidyin for Scottish News at BBC Jockland, disingenuously or stupidly, wonders why Scots are not aflame with indignation at the UK Government’s plans to roll back devolution via their Brexit strategy. She writes:
‘What happens if Holyrood rejects the EU Withdrawal Bill? Her (Nicola Sturgeon) problem is that this argument has not caught voters’ attention. The right of the Scottish Parliament to have a definitive say over regulations governing the use of pesticides does not appear to cause great concern to Scots.’
Notice her tendency to personalise a problem which all of Holyrood, other than the Tories, clearly share together, to one which is presented as only Nicola’s. It’s a reminder of the way, the Yes campaign’s disappointments were characterised, by BBC Scotland, as just Alex Salmond’s, in 2014.
However, more important, is her failure to recognise that the reason the argument has not caught voter’s attention is because of the extent of, and the way in which, it has been reported. Her sneaky use of the example of pesticide control is simply one of the strategies they have used – choose something boring or of apparently less importance as your example of the attack on devolution and, quelle surprise, there is, you claim, little interest in the wider issue.
Second, choose headlines which are designed to hide conflict and to prevent excited interest such as:
Here are alternative headlines from those supporters of devolution but opponents of independence, the Daily Record and the Guardian:
Had BBC Scotland blown some air into the damped-down fires of their many mature viewers and listeners, with headlines like these, might they have sparked a bit of interest?
Finally, deny the First minister the chance to give a full account of the situation. Even the Herald allowed, the at-times-good, Iain McWhirter, to present the case:
Come-on Sarah, stop pretending to be asleep.