Chris Silver: The case for addressing Scotland’s ‘media deficit’


By a Reporter

Scottish political blogger Chris Silver has launched a podcast series discussing the case for addressing what he describes as “Scotland’s media deficit”.

Featuring contributions from various bloggers and journalists involved in covering Scottish politics, the podcast is being published in advance of a forthcoming book which discusses the subject further.

The first edition also quotes the writer James Robertson’s much-shared poem “The News Where You Are”, a parody of Britain’s TV news and its condescending treatment of “the regions”, including Scotland.

Christopher Silver
Christopher Silver

His podcast, which can be accessed by clicking on the audio file at the top of this report, starts with an overview of issues facing the media generally, and not just in Scotland. The growth of 24-hour news, has been driven by technology, but it has raised serious issues

He argues that new media can never replace the mainstream, not least because of the cost of entry to the market. Silver instead discusses the crisis facing the mainstream, and the potential for the “new” alternatives. Featuring clips from journalists Lesley Riddoch and Ian Bell, as well as commentator Stuart Cosgrove, it makes a fascinating listen.

Newsnet readers generally have strong views on the Scottish media, evidenced by the numerous reports of alleged BBC bias led by one of the site’s original founder’s G.A. Ponsonby. TV news values during the general election campaign were also scrutinised here by media academic Professor John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland.

New media was also the subject of CommonSpace’s official launch at Glasgow School of Art last weekend, which attracted a great deal of coverage and comment. Newsnet took part in the event, and co-editor Derek Bateman discussed the media in a video report of the event:

You can find out more about Chris Silver’s project here


  1. I understand the need to keep a podcast short, and to cram in as much info as possible, but the editing of this podcast was incredibly distracting. Cutting the time for pauses between sentences to almost zero, means that it is quite difficult to digest what is being said and reduces the impact of each sentence, as the listener desperately tries to keep up with the frantic pace of the commentary. This subject is sooo important and deserves to be heard. The pace of the commentator is quite fast and a slightly longer pause between sentences would give us older guys a wee bit more time to digest the info – and I’m sure increase the enjoyment of listening…..??

  2. Isn’t there a case for most of the excellent pro-independence websites to come together to pull resources, and funds from on-line supporters, in order to establish one major on-line television “station” devoted to balanced news reporting for Scotland. Money could be well spent on establishing the brand, the one major brand, through a strong nation-wide advertizing campaign.

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