Is BBC Scotland on a sickly roll as one [genuinely] very sad story is clearly enough for their ‘journalists’ to scare the anxious voter in early morning Scotland?

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:

Scotland’s Nomeds, lost souls of the Wilderness of 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







10 thoughts on “Is BBC Scotland on a sickly roll as one [genuinely] very sad story is clearly enough for their ‘journalists’ to scare the anxious voter in early morning Scotland?

  1. Alasdair Macdonald September 13, 2018 / 8:36 am

    As well as the policy of a continuous diet of anti SG/anti SNP stories which I think has been increasing recently, I think the kind of single issue stories – having genuinely human interest aspects – is indicative of the dire state of news-gathering capacity, in that they are being fed these stories and they do not question their veracity too deeply, because it might inhibit the flow. In addition, if the staff are trained to fit these into a specifically hostile to SG/SNP/public services template, then truth and accuracy become minor considerations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 September 13, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Derek Bateman, former insider, says they are being fed to BBC by Labour and other politicians.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. John September 13, 2018 / 9:23 am

    This is the time of day when people switch on to get the latest news headlines , the big stories , what’s happening in the world . A lot of people start their workday very early nowadays , they want to be informed of prominent Scottish and world headlines before their working day begins .
    These early morning “stories ” is GMS’s Nomedia way of filling in time . We don’t need non – news stories that are scoured out the night before when the production team are looking for ways to fill the program . GMS does not require three hours of news , they don’t know how to cope with topical news for three hours , as I said yesterday , lazy , lazy , journalism ! .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Observer September 13, 2018 / 9:52 am

    John, always interesting to read your blog.

    I note also today this story, along with your other ‘scare’ stories:

    As a local to Dundee I found this article pretty poor. A few points I would like to make which would value your input:

    – “Dylan Drummond, a videographer and photographer from Dundee, said hundreds of onlookers were at the scene.” – Why mention Mr Drummond’s profession, it’s no relevance to the article in had. If he was a fire investigator then fine.

    – He then makes reference to the imminent V & A opening. Again why? it’s not relevant to the story and only fuels sensationalist speculation and conspiracy.

    – With a little probing, it turns out that Mr Drummond is actually in the employ of the BBC.

    It’s poor Journalism – the sort to expect from The Courier, or The Sun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 September 13, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      As you say, poor quality, trying to make something of the unrelated to undermine local confidence?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A Bruce September 13, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    I’m perplexed by the reported landslip story. The Highland councillor says that local people thought the slip probably occurred 3 months previously. If so, why did no one mention it at that time and report it to BEAR to allow repairs? Why keep quiet and wait 3 months?

    Because there’s no evidence that it happened then.

    Something smells rotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry September 13, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    Here’s one of the beeb’s FOI stories (quite why they needed to resort to an FOI to gather the info I really can’t say – I would have thought most of the Local Authorities would have been very happy to pass on the figures as they are extremely encouraging). Naturally – when reporting this positive story the beeb reporter manages to ‘forget’ to mention that the ability for the Local Authorities to charge the 200% Council Tax on appropriate unoccupied properties was introduced by the SNP Scottish Govt in 2014 as part of a set of continuing measures to assist the bringing back of empty homes into use across Scotland – and producing useful extra revenue for the Local Authority:

    Since April 2014, Scotland’s local authorities have been allowed to charge 200% council tax on properties that have been unoccupied for more than a year.

    The aim of the law change was to reduce the estimated 37,000 homes lying empty across the country.

    The discretionary charge was intended to encourage owners to bring empty properties back into use and reduce the blight of unoccupied homes.

    It does not apply to second or holiday homes, where the owner can prove they are used for more than 25 days a year.

    Freedom of Information requests to all 32 Scottish local authorities showed that almost £36m of additional revenue has been raised in the past four years – about £12m last year.

    Aberdeen City Council claimed the most additional revenue under the new policy, almost £2.4m in 2017.

    Perth and Kinross drew in £1.48m, Edinburgh gained an additional £1.14m and Fife raised the same amount.

    SNP Scottish Govt DOING THE DAY JOB RATHER WELL yet again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Alasdair Macdonald September 13, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    They use FoI because it implies that if they were not available then the public body would not release the information, ‘because they have something to hide’. Submitting such requests also seems to confer a sense of self-importance on the person doing the submitting, Often I can get information simply by asking straightforwardly.

    Liked by 2 people

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