Reporting Scotland editor apologises for Jackie Bird being wrong and ‘has a word with her’


Calm down. It’s not that good. They’re just admitting the script for her report on the hospital and the bird droppings story was wrong and they’re apologising for, one must presume, misleading their audience. They don’t say the last bit.

Here’s my complaint on 24th January:

‘In a report on deaths at the QEU Hospital, Jackie Bird said: ‘[T]he deaths of two patients from a rare fungal infection.’ This is inaccurate. We knew from the BBC website the same day: ‘The health board said one of the patients was elderly and had died from ‘an unrelated cause’. The factors contributing to the death of the other patient are being investigated.’ So in neither case did the patient die ‘from’ a rare fungal infection. One clearly died from ‘an unrelated cause’ and the other’s death was still being investigated.’

In the response, the editor admits that the report was ‘wrong’, apologises and tells us that they have had a word with all involved. I know, it’s a small victory after they have managed to inflate the story and to then run it well beyond any reasonable assessment of its importance. As for speaking to all involved, I doubt Jackie has been humbled in any way.

Here’s the full response:

Dear Professor Robertson

Thank you for your correspondence regarding Reporting Scotland. Your comments were passed to the Editor, Reporting Scotland, who has asked that I forward their response as follows:

“Thank you for being in touch about the teatime edition on 21st January.

This is the intro by Jackie Bird to our health correspondent’s report: “The health secretary will meet NHS officials tomorrow, to discuss the deaths of two patients from a rare fungal infection, believed to be linked to pigeon droppings, found at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth university hospital. The health board says the hospital is safe for patients and visitors, and has apologised for the disruption caused by measures taken to control the infection. Our health correspondent Lisa Summers reports.”

I have reviewed what was said and the process that led to what was said. The NHS press release which contained information we used started by referring to the investigation into “the cause of two isolated cases of Cryptococcus”; and, several paragraphs later, quoted the medical director as saying: “Our thoughts are with the families of the two patients who have sadly died.”

It appears that the fact that the two people had the infection and that they had died had been conflated by the intro writer into the deaths having both been caused by the infection.

That was not a conclusion that could reasonably be drawn. We were therefore wrong and I apologise for that.

I should add that, at the very top of her report and coming therefore immediately after the introduction, our health correspondent said: “Investigations continue at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital after it emerged late last week that two patients had died after testing positive for an airborne fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings.” That was entirely accurate.

I am grateful to you for raising this issue and can assure you that we constantly review our procedures in order to improve our service to licence fee payers. In this case I have spoken to all involved and have emphasised the points that you made in your complaint.”



12 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland editor apologises for Jackie Bird being wrong and ‘has a word with her’

  1. tcrosbie20 February 12, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    Oh ! has a word with her !! really ? what did you say, “Hey Jackie hows the kids and family?” “Oh and by the way good spin in the pigeon shit story were getting a lot of SNP bad miles out of that one even though it is a bare faced lie” That sort of word ? .

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Alasdair Macdonald February 12, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    Well done in getting an apology of sorts and an admission that the report was wrong. Howeve, this was simply one report in a number that week and intermittently since then linking deaths of very vulnerable people in hospitals with potential sources of infection. In each case the the numbers of deaths were very small,would probably have happened in any circumstances and were in units with infection rates below the national average and which had been detected by the usual hygiene and testing routines.

    The BBC has not mentioned the EGREGIOUSLY INFAMOUS use of multiple sclerosis an and his wife, both known right wingers with an inconsistent relationship with the truth, in extended vox pops. This was scandalously bad.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Gavin February 12, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    Day in, day out: week in, week out the BBC in Scotland manipulate facts, distort events, report out of context or perspective news and manage news to suit a British nationalist agenda.
    The new ghetto channel is to broadcast a documentary on the independence referendum. How can this be factual, when BBC Scotland itself used derogatory language to describe those seeking self governing status ( nationalist, separatist), bigging up some news while sitting on other news. Giving three times more air time to Brittish nationalists than their Scottish equivalents. Fixing political debates similarly. Hiring only Unionists.

    We pay a substantial fee to watch this rubbish, and get half the per capita spend England/Wales gets.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Legerwood February 12, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    Going by tonight’s edition of Reporting Scotland it would seem that he/she needs to have words on this subject with other news readers and reporters. Guess they did not get the memo.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Gerry Roberrtson February 12, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    Sorry but this is not good enough. Even when the corrupt ‘british’ press get it blatantly wrong they are told to print a retraction (albeit on the back page) so the BBC should be told to do the same, on the same programme and at the same time as the original lie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald. February 12, 2019 / 9:15 pm

      Yes, Lisa Summers clearly implied the deaths were due to the pigeon poo bacteria.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. bigjon999 February 12, 2019 / 8:25 pm

    I guess the BBC knows that “the lie is twice round the world before the truth has his boots on” so they have done their propaganda and don’t care what happens now. Only punitive fines for propagating lies would deter them) or maybe the chance of prison for repeat offenders?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Contrary February 12, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    Wow, an actual apology. Though I still think you shouldn’t be watching anything with Jackie Bird (poo) in it John.

    This is an accumulative thing, their misreporting is so bad on a daily basis, and their normal refusal to acknowledge it has led to blatant mistruths (everyone’s just making up words these days so thought I’d join in) – an apology and memo sending might have been okay for an isolated incident, but maybe our stupid parliament, instead of investigating bird poo that IS ALREADY BEING INVESTIGATED by nearly everyone in the SNHS, and their grannies probably, and spending all our generously donated money (so-called tax), could perhaps put some effort into investigating what is wrong with the stupid media and why they have become compulsive liars? You’d think eh, the stupid Scottish Parliament is wheedling about costing more money sending each other FoI requests on stupid things that should be done by the the media, and being dimwittedly stupid about not negotiating a budget and then whining and telling stupid lies about it. The stupid Scottish Parliament was meant to be REVISING their stupid structure and stupid way of working, when did they last do anything about that? Do they think I didn’t notice they said they’d do that? Well I did notice, and I’m still waiting.

    I mean the Scottish government is busy doing crisis planning for Brexit and doing that budget stuff, and off smarming up to international bodies to make Scotland look good. But what exactly is the parliament doing?

    Actually, I haven’t had a rake through the website for a while. Shouldn’t really rely on the media to tell me what they’re doing, should I? I’ll hold off saying that they are a bunch of lazy blood-sucking parasites for now.

    In case you haven’t been keeping up to date on the latest integrity initiative, its ties to the BBC and peddling anti-Russian narrative (with links to the paranoia filled Leask), RT (strangely enough) has a good piece on the latest leak – naughty naughty uk spreading their disinformation to the Balkans – but that’s what happens if you give your secret services untrammelled powers, so I’ve heard,

    Integrity initiative and institute for statecraft – latest leaks Feb 2019

    Sorry for not keeping up a positive take, but sometimes it’s healthy to let it out. I mean, we have direct links between an MP getting paid by a gold investment company, but barely reported, corruption and shitty behaviour at all levels in Westminster, barely reported, a wholly incompetent uk government – oh can’t say a bad word about them – , the whole world watching what they actually do in the House of Commons and laughing, it’s embarrassing (amusingly so in some cases right enough), and the whole world suddenly paying attention to the fact that Scotland STUPIDLY voted against independence in 2014 in bewilderment, it’s embarrassing, and the entirety of the English population still arguing with each other vehemently over something that has already happened – they are STUPID!

    My latest suspicion on the reason for the decision to leave the EU – I have not abandoned the reasoning about how much the UK state government / actors wanted to get out of the EU before the tax transparency laws came into place and wreck their nice little laundering system – but I think that might have more to do with the timing than being the driving force. So this theory is more on the conspiracy side of thinking, but eminently plausible if you consider the close ties between US and UK security services, the need to maintain the status quo for all state actors, and the huge amount of money involved. It came to me while reading about the gold-standard ending – it was what the US based their currency value on until Nixon scrapped that in favour of our current fiat system (all western economies adopted it) – but the US went on to effectively base their value of currency on oil – hence the term petrodollar – making an agreement with Saudi Arabia so that all oil is bought and sold in US dollars – which effectively makes any oil-using nation beholden to the US. Nice work if you can get it.

    Now, (yes I know this is taking ages, I have better things to do too), there was an incident recently – I will need to look for which country it was, I have totally forgotten that detail for some reason – where this country was making an agreement with the EU to buy oil in Euros. This is a major thing – it would mean the US didn’t have a monopoly, and the EU would be serious competition – and the value of the petrodollar would be in jeopardy. A huge problem for the US. Sanctions were applied or threatened I believe (I will have to check this), and no deal was made to buy oil in Euros.

    Having observed some of the terrible behaviour of UK politicians in their ‘negotiating’ with the EU, and their generally hostile attitude, and their rather inflammatory attempts to negotiate with individual EU countries, and some of the reporting – sensationalised style – that the EU will not survive Brexit, it will soon crumble etc (despite every single piece of evidence showing it to be holding strong, united, and resilient – in fact more so now) – strange how this reporting is totally contrary to reality. We also have evidence, through the Anonymous leaks of the integrity Initiative documents that the UK is actively trying to influence other EU countries with misinformation (not really cricket that).

    And we know that the US, the UK and Saudi Arabia are the bestest of buddies.

    Well, what if the whole plan in the first place (opportunism or not) was to destabilise the EU? (To stop it muscling into the Oil selling/buying market with the Euro). The US promises the UK elites some rewards (gold investments I am sure are just a tiny fraction of deals going on), they full on make a dogs dinner of it to cause as much disruption as possible, and they are untouchable as politicians (refer to Tony Blair and war crimes) so can retire fat and happy. The EU doesn’t seem to be playing ball with this plan though. But keep an ear out for all those mentions of ‘the EU won’t survive this’, ‘it’s on its end days’, ‘PM will make a deal with,,,(EU country)’ – why else would these things still be getting said when at no time the EU has ever shown the tiniest chink of weakness, or shown any lack of solidarity or deviation of their stated intentions? So, could it be the US trying to oust the potential competition?

    I feel so much better now I’ve got all that out 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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