Systematic Abuse Of The Scottish Electorate By The BBC And Other National Media Organisations
In some places it was estimated in the two months run up to the 2010 referendum that approximately 80% of the Scottish electorate had tuned into national television (BBC, ITV Channels, 4 and 5) for their election coverage. Post election research identified complaints from viewers primarily centred around a lack of adequate coverage of important Scottish issues, the bulk of prime time reporting and or discussion being aimed at UK matters. Biased programme presentation and interviewer, in favour of the Labour party also attracted many voters and political party candidates and leaders concerns.
The 2014 referendum produced the highest electoral turnout since WW2, many constituencies reporting figures in excess of 85%. But television coverage of the various campaigns was appallingly bad. Lessons from the 2010 election had not been addressed. In fact the matter of bias in favour of the “Better Together” campaign became the most discussed issue of the referendum. A university professor and other eminent persons produced reports providing undisputed evidence that the BBC, (singled out) in particular broadcast television and radio programmes so weighted in favour of the Better Together campaign that many viewers turned away from old “Auntie” preferring to be advised of referendum matters through mass media outlets. eg. the internet. By the time of the referendum in September 2014 the estimated audience figure for the BBC and other national broadcasters had reduced to approximately 50% of the electorate. A damming indictment of presentation policies forced upon the Scot’s by a biased media.
The Scottish Electorate Deserves A Balanced Informed Television/Radio Coverage Of Politics. But How Is This To Be Achieved? A cross party alliance should be formed, comprising media reformists and other informed persons. Their mission to insist upon a fair election coverage on Scottish television/radio. Meetings to be held, attended by representatives from television broadcasters in Scotland. The purpose of said meetings to be for broadcasters to agree operational standards. At times of elections and/or referendum a commitment to broadcast a minimum of two hours each week of political party – or specific subject discussion during prime viewing hours in the four week period before elections. Coverage, evenly balanced, to be monitored by Alliance members so that public interest would be protected.