A new sickening low for Reporting Scotland


Reporting Scotland’s regular ‘ambulance-chasing’ disclosures of single or rare cases of failure in NHS Scotland remains their favourite proxy strategy to side-swipe the SNP by association with that case. Last night they fell further into the foul-smelling mire than even the Sun or the Daily Mail might go, with the story of the decapitation of a baby in childbirth.

I found it hard to consider just typing that phrase but to want to dwell on it, to savour it and to exploit the grief-stricken mother, in the pretense that this is all about the rights of that mother, is nauseating.

Of course, the case should be pursued with the authorities and, if necessary, with the support of politicians but to dramatise it in this way for public titillation, is beyond belief. I note that even Ruth Davidson has not sought to use the story.

The report itself, with images of the baby scan and extended focus on the face of the teddy-bear-hugging mother was, for me, unwatchable.

Remember, if you can, that this is our public service broadcaster with a royal charter to educate, to inform and to entertain us. Which of those three purposes did this serve?

Previous ambulance-chasing:

New Scottish ambulance call-out system doubles survival rates for heart attack patients but is deliberately misreported by ‘ambulance chasers’

Top professor suggests top psychiatrist was taken advantage of by BBC Scotland’s ambulance chasers

‘Ambulance-chasers’* BBC Scotland digs up fake news as Scotland’s ambulance services disappoint them by coping well with the winter surge in demand



15 thoughts on “A new sickening low for Reporting Scotland

  1. Contrary September 27, 2018 / 6:17 am

    I am glad I am not in Scotland listening to GMS, I don’t think I could have handled listening to any reporting on this.


  2. Alex Montrose September 27, 2018 / 6:30 am

    Sad to say, but STV Aberdeen, are using the same reporting style, tragic individual health cases, for a main news headline.


  3. gavin September 27, 2018 / 7:41 am

    “Hard cases make bad law”—–and even worse journalism.
    This is supposed to be a news program, but it now seems the BBC that operates in Scotland need a “victim” each night to pad out their cheap propaganda.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ludo Thierry September 27, 2018 / 7:43 am

    Tabloid TV – pure and simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John September 27, 2018 / 8:17 am

    More fool the “victims ” for giving them air time ! .

    Liked by 2 people

    • gavin September 27, 2018 / 1:31 pm

      They get exploited by ambulance chasing BBC Scotland cynically promising an outlet for their genuine grief.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alasdair Macdonald. September 27, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    There is a justification of sorts from a ‘human interest’ perspective, in that almost everyone would like to comfort the mother having experienced not just the loss of her child but also the cause of the baby’s death.

    However, as you point out, this is a very rare occurrence. From memory, I cannot recall anything similar. However, I can recall a report elsewhere, some time ago, which discussed the investigation into this particular case. Investigations into any birth fatality are routinely investigated, as they should be, both to provide an explanation to the aggrieved parents and to see if there are implications for future practices. We have to learn from mistakes and mishaps.

    The way in which this was portrayed in the programme – assuming, as I do, that your description is accurate – places the motives of the programme team are open to suspicion, especially in the context of an anti NHS Scotland theme stretching over several years, by BBC Scotland

    I did not see the programme.

    I can recall some years ago, following the murder of a young Polish woma, Angelika Kluk in St Patrick’s Church, in Anderson, in Glasgow, an interview with a clearly shocked and grieving man (who was married to someone else) who had been having an affair with the late woman. It was a human interest story, which was seeking to present the victim as a warm, loving human being. As is common in such interviews they used cutaways to the interviewer to punctuate the piece – a valid technique. However, instead of the usual head and shoulders shots of the interviewer nodding, etc, the shots were of close-ups of the interviewers face, which was tastefully made up, but was also in a kind of golden light with diffuse backgrounds. The lighting was not the same as the interview lighting. It looked to me like a photo shoot of the interviewer, such as might be used for a portfolio or a PR piece. These shots, and there were far more than would be normal in such an interview, were obviously out of context and jarred discordantly with the interview theme. I wrote to the BBC to complain, and I got a reply, which defended the use as ‘normal editing procedures’ and assured me that there was no intention to provide publicity shots of the interviewer. Probably, pretty predictable. However, the writer assured me they would look again at the footage and review their editing protocols.

    So, as well as the political, there can be the personal agendas being pursued, which, crassly, take advantage of terrible occurrences.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John Munro September 27, 2018 / 3:49 pm

    I actually watched this BBC TV news article with mounting disgust at the sheer repulsiveness of the BBC journalists and programme planners who put this in the main BBC Scottish news broadcast of the day. Why was it there? The case had been extensively reported and investigated. This was simply sensational grief and pain porn. It would be bad enough if it was simply down to a colossal error of judgement by the journo involved and the programme editor/director and I do hope that is all that it was and there were no other motives.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gerry Roberrtson September 28, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Thanks John your contribution is invaluable. While I’m on I watched on STV last night entitled ‘Britains Housing crisis’ which focussed entirely on England with references to the UK throughout telling horror stories of people being evicted for no reason other than the greed of Landlords, high house prices in holiday homes in seaside towns which are forcing ordinary people out of the market and the lack of social housing and inadequate supply. No reference to Scotland and anybody watching in Scotland could only conclude that the same applies here. It is a blatant distortion of the facts and which we seem unable to do anything about.


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