Sarah Smith: Broadcaster Sarah Smith rejoins the BBC – The daughter of the late Labour leader, John Smith, is recruited from Channel 4 to anchor BBC2’s Referendum programme.
Sarah enjoys close family relationship with her husband and Mother Baroness Smith with whom she lives, in Edinburgh. Her sister is married to Lord John Robertson’s son. She also counts as her personal friends Douglas and Wendy Alexander. Her wedding on Iona was conducted by the Rev Douglas Alexander, father of her previously mentioned friends.
How many more BBC ” presenters” with Labour connections are the BBC going to foist on us ? Wark, Naughtie , Smith the list is endless – what happened to Gordon Brewer’s programme . I am concerned at the BBC’s lack of impartiality !!
The BBC is the NO campaign ! Parachuting in Smith, is a blatant attempt to bring in a ‘big gun’ fresh from Channel 4 News ! John Smith was on the right-wing of the Labour Party, and I would venture that the apples don’t fall, far from the tree . This No campaign, is being led by Anglos, just like her, who think that those of us who live and work in Scotland, are bound to maintain some kind of Brigadoon , instead of trying to re-establish our country of Scotland, as a true democratic state ! http://www.scotsman.com/what-s-on/tv-radio/sarah-smith-on-fronting-the-bbc-s-scotland-2014-show-1-3421848
Meanwhile, a post on the “Exposing anti-independence bias on the BBC” Facebook page claimed: “The appointment of Sarah Smith to “assist” the coming referendum debate alongside Jim Naughtie is another instance of London based “talent” being shipped in to make the case for the Union.” Ms Smith will host the new 30-minute programme between May and October, but there is understood to be no prospect of Newsnight Scotland returning after the referendum. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/scottish-politics/10623182/Scottish-independence-journalist-Sarah-Smith-hits-back-at-accusations-of-BBC-referendum-bias.html
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. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/scottishnews/4599486/Sarah-Smith-in-blast-at-sexism-at-the-BBC.html
As the BBC launch an inquiry into their cultural practices in previous decades Business Correspondent Sarah Smith has been looking at her own experience there in the 1990s in a new light. I joined the BBC in Glasgow as a 20 year old trainee in 1989. I never saw any underage sex or rapes. But in those days sexist jokes and inappropriate touching were considered normal. That year the BBC Scotland TV newsroom christmas party had the theme of “Grape and Vine”. Someone who thought it was funny went around Broadcasting House and tippexed out the G on every poster, changing the theme to “Rape and Vine”. One of my fellow, female, trainees made a serious complaint, saying she didn’t want to work in a newsroom displaying these posters and asked for them to be removed. She was immediately shunned by most of the male journalists in the place. Ridiculed for being unable to take a joke and then apparently treated unfairly when assignments were being handed out. The posters stayed in place and our only avenue of protest was to boycott the party. http://www.channel4.com/news/bbc-sexual-assault-claims-my-experience
September 23 2007: It was the most poignant of walks down the aisle for Sarah the eldest daughter of late Labour leader John Smith yesterday as she was married yards from her father’s grave. Family and friends who travelled to Iona for the wedding included former Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine, Lord Gordon, former chairman of Scottish Radio Holdings and Lord Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO. Lord Robertson’s son, Malcolm, married Sarah’s younger sister, Jane, three years ago, at Port Charlotte, on Islay. Yesterday Jane, 35, was Sarah’s matron of honour while her other sister, Catherine, was a bridesmaid. Other guests included Sarah’s Channel 4 colleague Krishnan Guru-Murthy, and main presenter Jon Snow. The traditional service was led by family friend Rev Douglas Alexander, the father of International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander and new Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander.
Then there is the treatment of BBC journalists and staff by senior management. Consultation procedures with staff have long broken down. Management make decisions by diktat and pronouncement. All sorts of decisions and changes have been dropped on staff from out of the blue. The announcement of the end of ‘Newsnight Scotland’ came as a surprise to its staff, with no consultation or forewarning. They were then left for four months on death row with no detail on when the programme would end.
Another worrying pattern is developing – that Scottish based journalists and staff who have spent years working for BBC Scotland do not get any respect or consideration from senior management in terms of support and recognition. This is despite a decade plus of devolution and becoming more pronounced due to the independence debate. Jim Naughtie and Sarah Smith have come north on expensive contracts to head up significant parts of BBC Scotland’s independence coverage.
Both Naughtie and Smith have qualities. They also have deep Labour roots and backgrounds, and have not been immersed in the Scottish debate, having spent long periods living elsewhere. It is no secret and not a surprise that both have been known to express dismissive views of the SNP. Naughtie has done this several times since his arrival north, off air to BBC colleagues.https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb/gerry-hassan/bbc-and-referendum