Since Monday, BBC Scotland, around 06:26 and then for a further five times in the morning, have we seen what may be the beginnings of a sickly roll of scare stories based on single incidents with no evidence of wider issues? Early morning is of course the best time to scare the Scottish Nomedia’s target audience including the sick, young parents and the elderly (see Footnote 2). Readers new to the term ‘Nomedia’ should follow the link in the footnote below.
This morning (13th) at 06:27, BBC Scotland headlined:
‘A woman who was sexually abused as a child [21 years ago] has criticised police and others for failing to stop a man abusing generations of girls.’
It’s the lead story on the website too. There wasn’t enough evidence at the time, 21 years ago, so who fed BBC Scotland with this story? Which Labour MSP was it?
Then we heard:
‘It’s been claimed that a serious landslip below a section of the A9 trunk road, may have gone undetected by a maintenance company. Highland councillor Mathew Reiss believes Bear Scotland’s safety inspection regime did not pick up the problem.’
Councillor Reiss then gets the opportunity to imagine the possible consequences. Bear Scotland tell us it’s in hand and that it is not dangerous. Councillor Reiss is an Independent councillor and a retired police chief inspector.
Yesterday (12th), we heard the misuse of the term ‘significantly’ to describe midwife vacancies but on the 11th, we had another single case, deeply upsetting for the individual concerned, but greedily snapped up by BBC Scotland’s ambulance-chaser team:
‘Calls for an urgent investigation after a highland man who is paralysed form the neck down had his 24hr care package removed.’
The unfortunate gentleman also has MS and depression. There was no opportunity for the health board to explain. Was it really removed? In a clerical mistake? Removed and replaced by a different one? Will we ever know?
Choosing these stories is a deliberate editorial action. We could have had the more informative, for the wider public, reports on the dramatic improvements in MS treatment times or of the actual midwife vacancies numbers falling only slightly and the avoidance of a crisis like that emerging in NHS England, reported here, but no, we get highly dramatized, personalised but not usefully contextualised, single cases which smell strongly of Unionist political media feed and which the Daily Mail would leap on, drooling. It’s also, simply put, just bad journalism.
Footnote: This report uses Talking-up Scotland’s new editorial policy, approved yesterday by its reader engagement group, on naming media such as BBC Scotland, ‘Nomedia’. See this for further information on Nomedia:
Footnote 2: See this for more on scaring the voters in the early hours:
The Power of Early Morning Nightmares and Expectant Mothers: BBC Scotland callously undermines the morale of midwives, their patients, expectant mothers and their relatives, with highly selective and un-contextualised information