Cash keeps rolling in for BBC’s six-figure big shots
2 March 2014: The BBC is facing a row over its bloated bureaucracy after an investigation revealed salary rises for some of its most highly paid staff, with more than 80 earning in excess of £150,000. Despite pledges to cut bureaucracy, and a pay freeze in the public sector, the number of senior executives earning more than £100,000 has increased under Lord Hall, its new director-general, according to an official BBC register of elite staff there are at least 82 executives on more than £150,000, well above the official target of 70. Bloated indeed. This lot have been taking the Scottish public to the cleaners for years. Time to clear them out.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/580147/BBC-chiefs-fat-cat-salaries-dwarf-David-Cameron-s-pay (increased to 103 executives in 2015)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7231623/Top-300-BBC-salaries.html (300 in the year 2010)
The register also shows that thirteen executives earning more than the prime minister’s £142,500-a-year salary have had rises of as much as 10% in the past year.
Revealed: Hundreds of BBC staff rehired after bumper pay-offs
19 May 2015: The BBC spent £33 million on redundancy payments for staff they later rehired, it has been revealed. Some 702 staff laid off since 2002 returned by last August – with 40% of them back as full-time employees. And 60% took freelance contracts – many of them better paid than full-time roles. Critics slammed the Corporation for wasting licence-fee payers’ money.
The British American Project (BAP), the BBC and New Trust chairman Rona Fairhead
The acting chair of the BBC Trust this year was Diane Coyle, an early recruit to the BAP at the same time as Naughtie and Peter (now Lord) Mandelson. The new BBC trust chair, Rona Fairhead, is a close Tory friend of Chancellor George Osborne. Lord Stevenson, (a key figure in the BAP network and in the 2008 banking collapse), appointed Rona Fairhead to her first senior position at Pearson Publishing.
Margaret Hill, BBC chief editorial adviser, is a long-standing member of the British American Project whose members now seem to fill more and more of the time of the corporation’s cash-strapped current affairs output.
Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman was for many years poster boy on the BAP website (his photograph was recently removed)
James Naughtie and Evan Davis, (now with Newsnight) regularly host the BBC Radio 4 Today programme with frequent BAP guests including David Willetts, Col.Bob Stewart, Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander.
A typical Today schedule is likely to contain three or four BAP members, none of whom disclose their membership to the listeners who have funded their extracurricular transatlantic bonding through licence fees or taxes going towards the Foreign Office subventions to the BAP.
April 16 2012: BBC news & current affairs presenters biased against Scottish Independence
A Scottish news website is carrying videos that have been released on YouTube which claims …“have appeared to cast significant doubt on the willingness and ability of the BBC to cover the [Scottish] independence referendum in an impartial manner”. The leaked videos feature in-house presentations by four senior BBC presenters giving explanatory background briefings on the referendum question.
Newsnet Scotland says the target of the videos … “is believed to be an audience of junior BBC staff.” Newsnet Scotland, which admits strong nationalist leanings is part of its editorial policy and seeks full fiscal autonomy or independence, alleges “The presenters, including BBC Scotland’s political editor Brian Taylor, are shown attacking the fairness of the SNP’s proposed referendum question and claiming that Alex Salmond is ‘not impregnable’.
“The First Minister is also accused of wanting a devo-max option on the ballot paper in order to give him a ‘parachute’ should Scots fail to back independence. In the presentations, Scotland is described as being in financial deficit and requiring subsidy. Claims are also made that the SNP are ‘changing policy in order not to frighten the horses’. Brian Taylor is shown claiming that Alex Salmond wants to delay the referendum in order to ‘sow dissent’ amongst Unionist parties, and saying “He [Salmond] wants a contest as close as possible to the next UK general election because he believes that by then his Unionist opponents will be fighting each other rather than fighting independence and Alex Salmond. He wants to sow dissent among them”.
Taylor also claimed that the Scottish government’s proposed referendum question was not straightforward and simple. The BBC Scotland man suggested it was designed to elicit a positive response. On the proposed question “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” Taylor said “Straight forward, simple – except it’s not. The word ‘agree’ according to psephologists is a welcoming word, it draws people in. People like to agree, they don’t like to disagree so the word there is good. He added “Why does Alex Salmond favour a second question, devo max, and devo plus, why not just go for independence, which is the one he has the mandate for? He wants a fall-back, he wants a parachute should independence fail to win”.
Also featured on the videos is BBC TV political commentator, Andrew Neil, a former editor of The Scotsman and the Sunday Times, BBC TV’s UK political editor, Nick Robinson, and BBC TV’s economics editor, Stephanie Flande http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/04/16/leaked-bbc-presetations-lead-news-website-question-impartiality-bbc-presenters
Now we are in to 2014 if proof be needed, read Newsnet Scotland articles on BBC bias against Scottish Independence.
How can we find out who ordered this presentation to be made in the first place and were Taylor, Neil et al given direction on the content ? Furthermore, who was in the audience listening to this ‘propaganda’ and are they now responsible for the production, editing and presentation of programmes we are now watching ?
The BBC says they are even handed this proves otherwise.
I find this to be genuinely disturbing. If you have any doubt that the staff of the BBC are past-masters in deception and double-speak watch this video and learn! The sole message of the seminar, never openly expressed, is “Scottish nationalists are our enemies. This is how we will misrepresent them.”
I am delighted that this is being picked up by the wider media community, having found this and other material including the Andrew Neil briefing while searching for BBC footage on other issues. I was struck by the impression that this event was nothing short of a Ministry of Propaganda meeting to discuss the State TV strategy to be adopted in the run up to Scotland’s vote.
Brian Taylor isn’t anti-Scottish, he’s just really dependent on the union. Neil is an exiled Scot with little ties to Scotland. He supports the union so that he can keep pretending London is the same country as Scotland. The current settlement works for him and he wants to retain it for personal reasons. They’re not anti-Scottish, but they are selfish. They want to use their positions to push the vote in they’re favour and the problem is that they are part of the BBC and meant to be Un-biased.
The usual BBC propaganda and Scots sellouts trying to save their high salary, low effort jobs. When we win our freedom I hope the new Scottish Broadcasting Corp sacks every one of these guys are really worried about their jobs aren’t they?
Interesting that most of the facts here a positive for an Independent Scotland, the economy for example. Almost like ok guys how do we make all this stuff look bad. Also the UK can’t exist with the Kingdom of Scotland. Wales and Ireland (Northern) didn’t join the UK they where already part of the Kingdom of England.
Where is the part where they tell the audience of journalists from the BBC how to be impartial when dealing with the facts? I must have missed that bit. He does get it spot on but totally wrong on other points, Can you imagine some of the other meetings which take place well behind closed doors.
The “How to Stop the Scots” seminar.
The BBC shows its true red white and blue colours and its inablity to provide the impartial reporting its own charter declares is its foundation principle. Basically when it comes to anything anti British establishment the BBC are full of bile.
At 30:00 a really key admission. For UK it’s a ‘deficit’ (which nearly all countries big and small are dealing with), however.. For Scotland it’s a ‘subsidy’ (which we generously recieve from London- even though the English are sick of paying it). Ladies and gentlemen of the BBC, there’s yer bias.
Nobody said: ‘ok guys how do we make all this stuff look bad’. But we all know that the questions posed will have to be answered. Or are pro-independence voters happy to ignore the unknowns? I think not.
What I want to know is, who attended this presentation? Are we now to assume that all BBC presenters, producers & editorial staff will follow the lead of Brian Taylor & Andrew Neil?
The BBC Trust have just censored Newsnight Scotland over their report on the Irish Minister’s views over EU membership after NS refused to investigate the issue of malpractise.
Has Newsnight Scotland received an apology from Ian Davidson after his totally unfounded claims when he accused them of bias live on air? This video clip is proof that Davidson was wrong in his accusations and until an apology is forthcoming he should be excluded from any further BBC programmes.
Westminster is being nice to Scotland, but if we leave the Union, that’s when the gloves come off. What is England going to do, invade us
Andrew Neil has been Westminster based since the 80’s, he probably won’t even be eligible to vote ( assuming he doesn’t have a well used Scottish residence). Remember, we pay for this ex Rupert Murdoch mouthpiece and his oversized friend.
Hey if Scotland isn’t a successor state to the UK we don’t have to inherit their debt. Yay for us.
They close down comments perhaps to conceal the real tenor of public opinion. Perhaps the upcoming vote is going to be jiggered with fake votes. In Quebec in 1995, the unconstitutional and illegal referendum was NOT about “secession” or “independence” but was an attempt to blackmail Canadians into accepting the EU system for ALL of Canada, as the basis of North American Union. Some quarter million FAKE citizenship ID’s were created in the half-decade prior: 217,000+ people ALL now UNTRACEABLE.
BBC Scotland has decided to correct the errors contained in an online article it published on Saturday, fully two days after one of the most blatant pieces of politically motivated articles ever published by the state broadcaster appeared as the number one story in Scotland, the corporation quietly removed the offending fiction and replaced it with fact. comment on how the BBC used headlines claiming the Deputy F.M made statements when she did not say anything that the headlines claimed
My response to this… I’m not paying your license tax for this pravda bias! Stick your BBC up your backside! As for Andrew Neil…
I’m not sure whether to like this, ’cause it shows how biased the BBC is, or dislike it, because of the content.
Brian Taylor gets paid too much by the BBC and he spends his wages on steaks and chips. What a waste of our TV license fee!
BBC Scotland’s online department are coming under increasing pressure to explain their decision to suspend comments from political blogs. Alone amongst BBC broadcast regions, the blogs of veteran editor Brian Taylor and Douglas Fraser have been closed down to comments from the general public for months, media watchdog programme ‘Newswatch’ highlighted the decision to remove the comment facility from the Scottish online blogs. Youtube search “Newswatch exposes BBC Scotland censorship.avi ”
The Union of the UK is between two countries Scotland and England, Scotland leaving ends that UK and it creates two new states. If Scotland has to re-apply to the EU then so must England/rUK. Shenegen and the Euro are not preconditions of membership. E.U law states both are members now and will continue to be Neil lies on this and this video shows the BBC Bias not just as an institution but individual presenters and the reveal a group mindset that is almost overwhelmingly Unionist in its logic and conclusions.
June 14 2014; BBC Scotland facing questions for breaching its editorial and commercial guidelines by allowing pro-union group to use Glasgow HQ, crew and facilities to produce cinema ad promoting Better Together
The BBC has denied there was any breach of its guidelines and said that political parties can use facilities on a commercial basis, but concerns have been raised by former BBC broadcaster Derek Batemen that the BBC is operating in a “grey zone”.
Better Together commissioned creative agency BD Network to make the ad, The Scotsman newspaper reported. The agency sub-contracted work to production firm Early, a company co-founded by former executive producer at BBC Entertainment, Martyn Smith.
The advert was shown in cinemas last month, but cinema chains including Odeon, Cineworld and Vue later decided to ban all referendum advertising from outlets. BBC guidelines state “Any activity involving a third party that could potentially undermine the BBC’s editorial integrity must be referred, in advance to the editorial policy department. Examples of such organisations include: political parties, government departments and foreign government; lobbying organisations…” Guidelines also state that the “value and reputation of the BBC brand may be damaged if any part of the BBC is seen to be associated with inappropriate third parties”.
The revelations will fuel speculation over the state broadcaster’s impartiality in Scotland ahead of the independence referendum.
June 29 2014: Over 2000 people attend a peaceful demonstration against BBC anti-independence bias.
People gathered outside BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquarters in Glasgow at the weekend for a demonstration highlighting alleged ‘BBC bias’ in Scottish independence referendum coverage favouring the No campaign. The protest shone a spotlight on claims of bias that have spiralled since the publication at the beginning of the year of research by University of the West of Scotland media politics professor John Robertson, which showed an apparent pro-No weight in broadcast coverage in Scotland ahead of the referendum.
According to Professor Robertson’s research, between September 2012 and September 2013, BBC Scotland broadcast 272 news items considered favourable for the No campaign against 171 favourable to Yes. The study also found that statements which made use of academic, scientific or independent evidence favoured the No campaign on 22 occasions compared to four for the Yes side. Furthermore, the research claimed BBC Scotland had finished broadcasts with unchallenged anti-independence claims 28 times, while unchallenged pro-Yes statements came at the end of a broadcast only eight times.
The research showed a similar alleged bias in broadcast reports from STV, although cocern has been directed largely towards the taxpayer funded BBC. People travelled from as far afield as Shetland to attend the protest. The BBC cited Police Scotland as saying there was a “maximum of 350 protesters” at the event, although video footage and images appear to show a much larger crowd. Organisers quoted a figure closer to 2,000.
June 30 2014: Professor John Robertson bullied by BBC over academic report on indyref bias
Professor John Robertson, media politics professor at the University of the West of Scotland and author of an academic study that claimed Scottish news broadcasts leaned more favourably towards the No campaign on Scottish independence, recounts the aftermath of his report and the implications for Scottish democracy.
He said “When I published academic research at the beginning of the year examining the impartiality of broadcast news reporting ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, I didn’t expect one of the subjects of my report – BBC Scotland, no less – to take such a strong reaction to the findings.. Senior BBC figures reported me to senior staff at my university and colleagues of mine were even warned to stay away from me. I see this as a clear form of bullying by a powerful corporation. The great crime I’d committed was in publishing the results of a study which indicated that BBC Scotland’s coverage of the Scottish independence referendum between September 2012 and September 2013 noticeably favoured the No campaign.
The Fairness in the First Year? Study was a year-long content analysis using fairly objective measures of fairness and balance to assess mainstream TV coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. The imbalance the research identified was more marked in the BBC/Reporting Scotland coverage than in the ITV/STV coverage, although both broadcasters fell significantly more towards favourable coverage for No than Yes statements.
The study found that, overall, there was a greater total number of ‘No statements’ compared to Yes, a tendency for expert advice against independence to be more common, a tendency for reports to begin and end with statements favouring the No campaign and a very strong pattern of associating the Yes campaign arguments and evidence with the personal wishes of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. Taken together, the coverage was considered to be more favourable for the No campaign. Though absent in mainstream media reporting, the research received massive interest online, especially – and somewhat predictably – in Yes campaign blogs.
One email I hadn’t been expecting came directly from BBC Scotland’s head of policy and corporate affairs on 21 January 2014. He expressed serious concerns about the methodology, accuracy and language used in the report, and felt so strongly that he by-passed my head of school and dean of faculty and went straight to the university principal. What triggered the head of policy and corporate affairs to write in such aggressive terms and to report me to my own employer over an academic study has never been explained to me, but needless to say I have received full support at all levels on my academic right to ask questions of power.
The first study prompted the commissioning of a second. Pro-independence website Newsnet Scotland crowd sourced enough funds to sponsor a study into the impartiality of BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship politics show, Good Morning Scotland. The research was carried out by staff in the Creative Futures Research Institute at the University of the West of Scotland in Ayr, and it again indicated a problem in the balance of news reporting. The broadcasts were balanced in crude, numerical terms, but in every other aspect were unfair to the Yes campaign and sat more favourably towards Better Together. Broadcasts began too often with bad news for Yes and featured heavy repetition of such messages over several hours in a manner conducive to unconscious absorption of warnings.”
Statements from the Yes perspective were often reactive while those favouring Better Together were commonly initiating. Interviewers tended, too often, to adopt aggressive techniques with Yes supporters while only doing so on two recorded occasions with Better Together supporters. Finally, in the selection and use of expert witness of dubious credibility and of evidence from partisan sources, the broadcasts were clearly unfair to the Yes campaign.
With only months to go until the independence referendum, the BBC clearly needs a system of monitoring and balancing its content to limit the admittedly unavoidable intrusion of bias to a minimum. It is worrying that research of this kind is required in a democracy, and it is similarly worrying that this report has been largely ignored by the BBC and mainstream media. I fear we have witnessed the collusion of broadsheet, radio and TV journalists in their refusal to criticise each other’s ethical behaviour. Until this point, I naively though Scotland was rather more equipped to expose elite collusions.
As for the BBC, the private attempts to quieten this research and their public policy of ignoring it are at odds. Indeed, when I was summoned in March to give evidence to the Scottish parliament’s education and culture committee on broadcasting, the BBC remained silent despite being present at the committee and attempts by callers and audience members to raise ‘the UWS study’.
The BBC’s contradictory behaviour has helped fuel the eruption of protests outside BBC Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters, but whether public distrust is enough to force the introduction of balance checks in time for the independence referendum remains to be seen.
Professor John Robertson has taught and researched in higher education for 30 years. He is especially interested in the relationship between media and other elites and in Western coverage of conflict in the Middle East and Central Asia. His interest in mainstream media coverage of the Scottish independence referendum began in 2012.
September 11 2014: Conference attended primarily by foreign journalists hijacked by Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson BBC reporter was provided with fully comprehensive answers to a number of rambling questions by an always patient Alex Salmond. Robinson acknowledges answers by nodding his head in agreement at the end. Video length 6 mins 52 seconds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp8gYWUnKCc
September 11 2014; Same conference different approach by “Better Together supporting media” – Alex Salmond goes to war with BBC over RBS ‘leak’
Daily Telegraph article accompanied by a heavily edited video, (2 min 02 secs). An irate Alex Salmond today declared war on the BBC after the Corporation disclosed Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to move its headquarters to England if there is a Yes vote. The First Minster accuses Nick Robinson of heckling him and demands the Corporation cooperate with a leaks inquiry over RBS’s announcement. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11089702/Alex-Salmond-goes-to-war-with-BBC-over-RBS-leak.html
September 11 2014; Same conference Robinson’s take on events – BBC bias and propaganda at it’s finest
Nick Robinson caught Lying about Alex Salmond not answering a question https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_XhTALHQzI
You made a bit of a boob by editing out Alex Salmond inviting Nick to ask a question in the first place, then going on to fully answer his question. You just gave idiots the opportunity to say “he didn’t answer his question”. No matter, people can see in other videos that he answered it, and answered it very comprehensively. Nick is just another Government lickspittle, the people of Scotland however, have an uncanny ability to see through people like that.
I am absolutely disgusted. Disgusted by the actions of not only the bbc journalists but of the obvious bbc editorial line that has, for 2 years plus, stymied and belittled a democratically elected campaign that looks only for the chance to be given a level forum and an equal oportunity to put across its case for the independence debate. To do that, it is the right of the people of scotland to be given an honest & unbiased, unedited and wholly accurate version of events for them to be able to use that information and their own free will to decide their opinion. The question of self determination for every man woman and child on this earth is of the utmost importance and is not to be taken lightly, which is why I think that only a transparent and open conversation with no bias or self imposed connotations whatsoever by either side is the only way that a fair and just conclusion can be reached. Emancipation through education. This is clearly not happening and something must be done!!
The vote was fixed by the paedophiles in westminister, the British Bias Corporation are a disgrace and everybody should stop paying their licence fee as I have done and refuse to listen to their news which has been put together by the english scum, look at the way they portray old cow liz and the rest of the dole scroungers in its family, that shows the level of bias they truly have.
Paxman for example always says “You’ve not answered the question”‘ – but viewers can decide for themselves if they agree with Paxman or not, as they are allowed to witness the reply. In this instance Nick Robinson took it upon himself to make the decision for us.
I thought Nick Robinson was a good honest reporter now I know he must have worked for a newspaper like the News of the World perhaps he should seek a similar post based on the accuracy of his comments. Perhaps reporters for the BBC have their own agenda, ie London is always right and is in fact the centre of the universe
Well done Alex you ripped him a new one, Nick is a Tory supporter.
As an American, I look forward to welcoming Scotland to the club of ”formerly ruled by Westminster” and will make a special trip to Scotland for a job well done. Britain was a fine idea, but it is time to move on.
Ever tried the BBC complaints procedure its designed to put you off anyway done it and called robinson and the BBC liars waiting on a answer i won’t hold my breath
I am sure this has already been posted, but just in case you missed it. The blatant laying of BBC’s Nick Robinson that Alex Salmond refused to answer a question, when in fact, he did answer the question…twice. SHAME ON THE BBC.
September 12 2014; Balance failure in BBC Scottish independence referendum coverage ‘wrong and not acceptable’ says Channel 4’s Stuart Cosgrove
a. , Stuart Cosgrove, has slammed the lack of journalistic scrutiny of Scottish independence referendum ‘scare headlines’ and called for a re-think at the BBC on the nature of balance and due impartiality.
b. Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Cosgrove said misreporting over claims the Royal Bank of Scotland would move jobs to England in the event of a Yes vote had been shown to be lacking substance and scrutiny after RBS issued a clarification to the media confirming any move would be relevant to “operations, not people”.
He told BBC presenter John Beattie: “I think elsewhere in the media and elsewhere within this organisation, the last 24 hours have allowed people to assume that this is about job losses in Scotland and the loss of great, significant investment. It’s clearly now is not, and yet another story when investigated the day after is proved to not have anything like the substance [it seemed]. The lack of scrutiny of this and the idea that people just wanted scare headlines I think is an outrage, particularly at this stage in the referendum when there’s so much to talk about and where journalism should be coming alive. Let’s just take the BP example; we are being told that BP are moving to London. Really? What exactly are they going to do given the £200m they’ve recently invested in offshore drilling technology – where are they going to be drilling? Hemel Hempstead? Of course they’re not.”
Cosgrove added that following the referendum there should be an examination of how the BBC measured balance and impartiality in its coverage, saying that applying election coverage models to the referendum when the main parties are unionist could limit time given to voices from the Yes side. “One of the things I’d like to challenge, and I think it’s something we’ll need to talk about once the referendum’s over – and I think it has a significant impact on this institution, the BBC – is the nature of balance and due impartiality,” he said.
“Yesterday, I was watching the rolling BBC News very closely and it was clear that notions of balance were being predicated on a party political basis. It would go from Cameron to Miliband to Clegg and back. “If you look at it as a different premise – it’s a yes/no question – then Patrick Harvie of the Greens, who is not the leader but is a significant political person within the Yes campaign, should have had exactly the same coverage as Ed Miliband. Do you think for a second he got that? Of course he didn’t. I think there’s been a failure of the understanding of the nature of balance and due impartiality. It’s simply wrong and not acceptable.” http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/09/12/balance-failure-bbc-scottish-independence-referendum-coverage-wrong-and-not
September 14 2014; “The Drum”, picks up the story – BBC claims Scottish independence campaign coverage ‘rigorously impartial’ as campaigners protest outside Pacific Quay offices
As a crowd of Yes campaigners demonstrated outside of the headquarters of BBC Scotland on the afternoon of Sunday 13 September, with a banner being used to call for the sacking of the corporation’s political editor, Nick Robinson, the BBC released a statement to deny the accusations that its coverage was biased.
A BBC spokesperson told The Drum: “We believe our coverage of the referendum has been rigorously impartial and in line with our guidelines on fairness and impartiality.”
The Yes campaign reacted following a clash between Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Robinson earlier in the week during a press conference where Salmond demanded an inquiry into who leaked the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland to relocate its headquarters to England in the event of Scottish independence.
Robinson had attempted to push Salmond for a response on the economic significance of such a decision by the bank, which led to Salmond accusing him of ‘heckling’. Speaking afterwards to BBC Radio Scotland, Salmond said of the leak: “What concerned me is not the impact on jobs because there will be none…what really concerns me is how this information was released to the BBC.” Meanwhile, BBC reporters have faced further accusations of bias in their reporting directly through social media.
My understanding is that Nick Robinson, was not singled out by protestors because he asked difficult questions but because the he is responsible for the BBC One news’ brutal edit of Salmond’s response at the press conference on Thursday. The two questions and answers can be viewed online and was broadcast live on BBC News channel. The BBC Political Editor SHOULD be asking politicians questions that affect us. Nick Robinson’s report, however, stated that Scotland’s First minister “did not answer”.
Robinson does not work for Fox News yet, he is paid by our BBC. Because of broadcasters like him and recent cover ups, the BBC is now seen as a self-serving state-funded agenda network. He is helping to destroy the corporation.
September 26 2014: Scottish news website Bella Caledonia launches ‘buycott’ plan to redirect BBC licence fee funds amid bias row
Scottish politics site Bella Caledonia has announced plans to launch a ‘buycott’ – a request for readers in Scotland disillusioned with the Scottish mainstream media to redirect licence fee or newspaper subscription payments into funding Scotland’s alternative media scene.
Mike Small, editor and founder of the website – which launched in 2007 and has already raised six-figure sums from public donations to fund content – announced the plans on the BBC’s Scotland 2014 programme during a debate about alleged pro-union bias of the mainstream media during the referendum campaign.
He told the programme: “Tomorrow we’ll be launching a buycott to re-channel energy for people who want to give up their licence fee to the BBC or their commitment to newspapers and pay instead to online services, and that’s going to happen in a huge way.”
During the studio debate with BBC editorial policies chief adviser Rick Bailey and John McLellan of the Scottish Newspaper Society, Small warned that “complacency” from the BBC in their response to accusations of bias would drive people further towards alternative online media services, and said the website’s coming plans would “completely transform” Scotland’s media.
“Some people call it the fifth estate, where people are enabled citizens who are empowered to know how to translate media and create content, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “There’ll be podcasts, video, blogs, all sorts of content that will completely transform the media landscape in Scotland, and that’s about to happen.”
At its best, Bella Caledonia attracted more than 500,000 unique users a month in the run up to Scottish independence referendum, peaking at one million in August, and it has branched its investment out into creating a print product ‘Closer’ in a bid to reach readers who are not online.
Before the referendum the Drum spoke to Mike Small of Bella Caledonia and the editors of similar alternative sites Wings Over Scotland and Newsnet Scotland to find out more about the rise of Scotland’s new media
A well respected and truly impartial journalist was asked if the perception that BBC Scotland was anti-SNP was, in his view, justified. “Put it this way,” he said. “It probably comes more naturally to them to attack the nationalists than to attack the union.”
But how is this the case? A wee bit of history. From 1946 to 1991 media affairs in Scotland were subject to the moderating influence of the, BBC Scotland Controller who effectively reported to the, “Broadcasting Council for Scotland”, on which many distinguished Scot’s served over the years.
That was abandoned and control of BBC output in Scotland was transferred to the Board of Governers of the corporation in England then onto the BBC trust Chairman, in London.
So what’s the problem? The way in which BBC Scotland is run, the quality of care it shows for the many good people who work for it, the standard of what it does, the public service in Scotland ethos it supposedly represents are some of the more important questions facing the Scottish nation but it is doubtful they can be successfully addressed within the control systems that prevail at the present time.
The BBC failed Scotland when it is needed most. The two main blockages are in the minds of those who retain control of the state media output:
* The BBC, is part of the glue that holds together the very idea of Britain. Take it away and the whole package starts to fall apart and we are left to wonder at the fragility of the paste.
* The BBC is how we talk to each other, where we go in the morning. We need to trust it and to feel a personal investment in it. Otherwise it’s lost – and part of us with it.
Is the alleged bias in BBC Scotland endemic or confined to a few employees?
The huge number of unresolved complaints and public demonstrations all voicing concern and anger about a blatant lack of impartiality by the news reporting/discussion teams in the course of the recent independence referendum and since gives support to the public perception that there is an on-going agenda within BBC Scotland ensuring support to Labour Party ideals, to the exclusion of other political parties in Scotland.
Yes” campaigners “anti-bias” march on the BBC Headquarters in Glasgow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttDkVoTYpLA#t=18
The organisation also needs to be formally separated from London so that it can be truly independent. An over arching Scottish body, including members of the public, should be reinstated.
A Labour Party pedigree is a predominant requirement within the BBC Scotland senior management team and a number of line managers and reporters, are in place appointed through nepotism. This needs to eradicated so that the BBC is enabled to fulfil it’s remit, to be impartial and accountable to the Scottish public. The current “modus-operanti” cannot be allowed to remain in place and there should be a cull of management and media correspondents that have abandoned the Journalist’s Code in favour of their politically minded colleagues. https://www.nuj.org.uk/about/nuj-code/
Nepotism/Cronyism & Protection of The labour party
John Boothman is head of BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs, (formerly Editor of Elections and Political Output). In 1979 he was the Chairperson of Strathclyde University Labour Club, Chairperson Scottish Organisation of Labour Students in 1980 and Chairperson of the National (UK) Organisation of Labour Students 1981.
According to former BBC broadcaster Derek Bateman, Boothman questioned the political output of radio broadcasts after receiving complaints from Paul Sinclair. Sinclair, (SPAD to Johann Lamont) is said to enjoy a special relationship and regular contact with Boothman through both men’s links with the Labour party.
Writing on his blog, Mr Bateman claimed that Boothman was “famous for his unrivalled network of contacts in the Labour movement.” adding that, “…Sinclair had a name for trying to interfere in BBC news decisions to influence output.” Such attempts at interference were, according to Mr Bateman, something all parties tried to do. However, according to the former BBC presenter, Sinclair and Boothman developed an unhealthy relationship with the Labour advisor calling the shots.
He added: “But what I didn’t like about Sinclair – Boothman was the informal and insidious way it developed, so instead of old pals, it became almost one of master and servant. “Sinclair seemed to assume the right to call the BBC head of news to account. It was going on right up to the final weeks before my departure.” Mr Bateman also claimed that Boothman had, on more than one occasion, questioned him about the political content of his radio programme after receiving complaints from Sinclair. http://www.glawest.org/bbc-scotland-head-of-news-an-agent-of-labour-party/
John Boothman Derek Bateman
John Boothman is married to Susan Deacon: Former Chairman of Scottish Labour Students. Served on the Scottish Labour Party’s, National Executive. MSP and Labour government minister. Recently put her parliamentary career on hold to raise her family. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/bbc-chief-too-close-to-labour-claims-ex-colleague.22317694
John Boothman, Margaret Curran and Johann Lamont as students were actively involved in Labour Party politics at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.
Curran is a Labour Party Executive member and MP. At university she was, Secretary of Glasgow University Labour Club, Secretary of the Scottish Organisation of Labour Students, Chair of that organisation, and Vice-Chair of the Labour Club (the biggest of its kind in the UK) at the time.
Lamont is an MSP and former leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. At university she was an active member Glasgow University Labour Club.
Sarah Boyack; Labour Party List MSP. Attended Glasgow University. Active in politics as a student, (taken under her wing and promoted by Margaret Curran). Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students in 1985-86
Catriona Renton: Reporter for the BBC Politics Show and BBC Presenter.
Renton is a former Glasgow Labour Councillor, who represented Kelvindale before losing her seat to the LibDems in 2003.
She was “Glasgow’s Youth Tsar”.
A product of Balliol College, Oxford she went on to represent Labour in both the 2003 Holyrood elections and the 2004 European elections.
She was apparently recruited by BBC Scotland’s parliamentary unit in 2006, where John Boothman, husband of Labour MSP and ex-Health Minister Susan Deacon, was a senior producer.
Her personal facebook has listed the following as friends: Jackie Baille Labour MSP, Yousuf Hamid Labour Activist, Tom Harris Labour MP, Mike Dailly Labour Activist, David Martin Labour MEP, Frank McAvetty Labour MSP, John Robertson Labour MP John Park Labour MSP, Steven Purcell Labour Glasgow Leader, Dave Watson Vice-chair of the Scottish Labour Party.
At the centre of a bias storm after an item broadcast on Sunday 18 October 2009 attributed views to senior SNP MSP Alex Neil that he had not expressed.
When filming at the SNP conference in Inverness, Catriona Renton had claimed on BBC Scotland’s Politics Show that Alex Neil had confirmed the SNP’s desire to see David Cameron become the Prime Minister at the next general election.
The recorded interview with Mr Neil that followed Ms Renton’s claim contained no such confirmation. The BBC were forced to issue a personal apology to Alex Neil.
Tom Connor; BBC Head of Online News and Sport. Long term friend and colleague of John Boothman, Head of the department.
Responsible for ensuring the continuation of censorship and blockage of comments to BBC Scotland political blogs, No adding comment or disputing views with the likes of Brian Taylor or Douglas Fraser accounts anymore.. Yet England/Wales and Northern Ireland blogs all allow comments.
Tom, together with his boss John Boothman was censured a number of years ago for offering Media training to Labour candidates! http://auldacquaintance.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/drooket/
Fiona Ross: Freelance broadcaster, makes television and radio documentaries for the BBC and commercial channels.
Awarded the OBE for Services To Broadcasting in June 2005. She has particular knowledge of political and public sector organisations, and trains CEOs , Chairpeople , and senior management at Britain ‘s most successful companies. During her distinguished broadcasting career Fiona won many awards and has been involved in the reporting of crises and disasters such as the Lockerbie air crash of 1988, the collapse of BCCI in the early 90′s, and the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
While Political Correspondent at Scottish Television Fiona interviewed every leading UK political figure and Prime Minister including Margaret Thatcher, and Tony Blair. Fiona now works as a freelance broadcaster, making television and radio documentaries for the BBC and commercial channels. She presents TV and radio programmes and also works as a media skills trainer and consultant to political and business clients in the UK and the Middle East.
10 September 2014: BBC Scotland – Post the Referendum and a No Vote.
After more than a decade since devolution and the establishment of a Government in Edinburgh there were early signs that BBC Scotland had intent to cover the referendum debate in a balanced format. But it soon became evident this would not be the case amid reports of major ructions at the BBC in Glasgow.
In recent months it seems to have been plummeting, out of control towards meltdown. It has also been accused, by a large cross section of Scottish society citing anti-independence bias and outright incompetence.
Scottish based journalists and staff, (many of whom have spent years working for BBC Scotland) do not get any respect or consideration from senior management in terms of support and recognition and are routinely undermined by senior management.
Staff and management have become increasingly polarized due to a lack of dialogue, management have reverted to managing the business through notice board announcements and other distanced forms of communication.
The power struggle within the BBC in Scotland, is really about accountability. It should be to the Scottish taxpayers, who pay their salaries through the licence fee, but management looks south to the BBC Trust, for the nod of approval and authority.
The ongoing dilemma causes much heart searching on the part of journalists and staff, much less in the case of senior managers, who often have their eyes on other pastures.
In direct consequence of the foregoing shambles, poor leadership, lack of vision, control of agendas from other places and bending, “like straws in the wind” to the will of the BBC Trust the referendum debate is riddled throughout with anti-independence bias instructed from the BBC Trust in England.
BBC Scotland, established, on a wave of optimism in 1999 promised so much , The “Scottish News at Six” soon died a death replaced with the National (English) “News at Six” covered at Six Thirty by “regional local news” and at the tail end of this by a few last minute fillers providing brief snippets of titbits from a few areas in Scotland.
Then there was “Newsnight Scotland” promised as a cutting edge programme covering newsworthy aspects of events of particular interest to Scotland. This was soon dumped, to be replaced with a tail end 10 minutes at the end of the, (now discredited) English Newsnight programme.
Despite release, from London of £5million, headed up by John Mullin (another London Scot “headhunted” north) to be used specifically in the provision of referendum coverage, BBC Scotland somehow decided there was a need to reduce Scotland based political journalists and support staff.
Their solution to the, “self created” under employment of staff, at such an important time for Scotland was to parachute in professionals on sizeable six figure salaries, Jim Naughtie and Sarah Smith from England, but two, thereby ensuring a clear run with their anti-independence biased agenda.
So there it is, the creation of BBC Scotland seemed to be a good idea at the time, but, it seems the idea has gone sour and BBC Scotland is nothing more than a brass plate on a door of a building in Glasgow. In recent times BBC Scotland has been increasingly classed as a fictional entity similar to the Labour Party in Scotland.
The very expensive employment of, Naughtie and Smith, is surprising since both have spent almost their entire political reporting careers away from Scotland. Additionally both are unashamed labour party supporters and have oft been known to express dismissive views of the SNP. Naughtie has done this several times since his arrival in Scotland. Sarah Smith, (clearly unsuited to live television presentation) presents the anti-referendum biased, car crash programme, “Scotland 2014”.
It is common knowledge the BBC is completing an internal review in anticipation of major financial reduction in the block grant from 2016. In the event of a “no” vote BBC Scotland will be wound down retaining only a bare bones skeleton staff in place. This achieves a number of objectives including major financial savings through major reductions in staff. The sell-off of estate properties throughout Scotland will also ensure major savings for the organisation. Programme making, in Scotland will be shut down, no more, “River City”. The contracted BBC will return to it’s roots being a London based organisation and Scotland will once more revert to being a media backwater.
Broadcaster Sarah Smith rejoins the BBC-I Wonder Why?
Sarah Smith yesterday told of her shock at the sexist culture she encountered during her time at the BBC. The Channel 4 business correspondent — who joined the Beeb in 1989 — claims female staff were regularly pressured into having sex with senior journalists in the early 90s. Why no investigation??
BBC uses licence fee cash to ‘gag its staff’: Broadcaster accused of ‘corporate bullying’ in bid to buy the silence of alleged sexual harassment victims
3 March 2013: The BBC was accused of ‘corporate bullying’ last night after spending licence-payers’ cash to buy the silence of up to 20 former staff – all of whom claim to have been victims of bullying or sexual harassment – believed they had effectively been banned from giving evidence to an internal review. Each had been paid off and made to sign contracts to stop them turning whistleblower. The absurd situation could mean licence-payers funding an expensive inquiry on the one hand, only for potential witnesses to think they cannot give evidence.
In a twist, a lawyer last night claimed a further ‘two dozen’ BBC women – some of them famous names – have come forward in the past week complaining of sexual discrimination, bullying or harassment. Ann Olivarius, said there was ‘a culture full of male bias at the BBC’. two dozen ‘talked to her about sexual discrimination and about bullying and inappropriate sexual advances’.
A review was launched in October 2012 following a wave of damaging claims from female presenters including Liz Kershaw and Sandi Toksvig, who said they were routinely groped while working for the BBC. Gagging clauses are typically part of ‘compromise agreements’ signed when an employee agrees to drop an employment tribunal claim in return for a pay-off.
Labour MP Jim Murphy calls BBC-Bias protestors bullies
30 June 2014: A peaceful protest, (approximately 1000 attended) at BBC Scotland HQ in Glasgow. (BBC reported 350) View the video:
Outraged that the, “Yes” Scotland campaign should organize such a demo Labour MP Jim Murphy went on-line and on a pro-independence blog made mischief, writing:
“They lost the plot. They were angry and divisive. Their attempts to bully broadcasters and boycott businesses is the last thing the independence debate needs. Their angry and divisive campaign is a turn-off. They are frustrated. They are losing the big arguments and losing the plot in a big way. The reason for the nationalists’ frustration is clear, after 80 years of campaigning to break up the UK and with just 80 days to go, patriotic Scots are still saying no thanks to their political project. Now we are seeing real-world attempts to bully a broadcaster.”
But square the foregoing with an extract, (below) from a recent speech, (setting out his belief in democracy) by the same Jim Murphy. He said:
“Nations which suppress the rights of their people to take advantage of civil society, democratic expression or the rule of law can no longer be considered stable nation states”.
The BBC has been subject to a deal of criticism regarding it’s heavily biased, (anti, “Yes” campaign) coverage of the Scottish referendum. Again and again BBC spokesmen trot out the same bland lie that the corporation is impartial. What dross and they, each of them can look in the mirror each day and smile. The attached article provides the evidence which denounces the corporation. Believe nothing emanating from the mouths of liars. Scotland needs to be freed from the clutches of the BBC and it’s bent reporting.
It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.
At a secret meeting in London, (October 2006) hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians. Political pundit Andrew Marr said: “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.”
Andrew MarrJeff Randall
Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a ‘very senior news executive’, about the BBC’s pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply: ‘The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.’ Quoting a George Orwell observation, Randall said that the BBC was full of intellectuals who ‘would rather steal from a poor box than stand to attention during God Save The King’.
A leaked account of an ‘impartiality summit’ called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror. It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC’s ‘diversity tsar’, wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air. A veteran BBC executive said, “There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness. unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture, that it is very hard to change it.”
In one of a series of discussions, executives were asked to rule on how they would react if the controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, (known for his offensive characters Ali G and Borat)- was a guest on the programme Room 101. On the show, celebrities are invited to throw their pet hates into a dustbin and it was imagined that Baron Cohen chose some kosher food, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Bible and the Koran. Nearly everyone at the summit, including the show’s actual producer and the BBC’s head of drama, Alan Yentob, agreed they could all be thrown into the bin, except the Koran for fear of offending Muslims. In a debate on whether the BBC should interview Osama Bin Laden if he approached them, it was decided the Al Qaeda leader would be given a platform to explain his views.
And the BBC’s ‘diversity tsar’, Mary Fitzpatrick, said women newsreaders should be able to wear whatever they wanted while on TV, including veils. Ms Fitzpatrick spoke out after criticism was raised at the summit of TV newsreader Fiona Bruce, who recently wore on air a necklace with a cross. The full account of the meeting shows how senior BBC figures queued up to lambast their employer. Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to ‘correct’, it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it ‘no moral weight’.
Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a ‘very senior news executive’, about the BBC’s pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply:
‘The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.’
Randall also told how he once wore Union Jack cufflinks to work but was rebuked with:
‘You can’t do that, that’s like the National Front!’
There was another heated debate when the summit discussed whether the BBC was too sensitive about criticising black families for failing to take responsibility for their children. Head of news Helen Boaden who disclosed that a Radio 4 programme which blamed black youths at a young offenders’, institution for bullying white inmates faced the axe until she stepped in. But Ms Fitzpatrick, who has said that the BBC should not use white reporters in non-white countries, argued it had a duty to ‘contextualise’ why black youngsters behaved in such a way.
Andrew Marr told The Mail on Sunday:
‘The BBC must always try to reflect Britain, which is mostly a provincial, middle-of-the-road country. Britain is not a mirror image of the BBC or the people who work for it. Truth. We can handle the truth.
The BBC faced a grave crisis of public trust last night after admitting that a series of flagship children’s and charity phone-in programmes had deliberately deceived viewers.
Children in Need, Comic Relief and Sport Relief all featured fake competition winners, the corporation said.