More evidence of BBC bias?

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1624

by Harry Shanks

It has struck me for some time that there is obvious pro-Labour, anti-SNP bias within the editorial policy in the BBC Scotland news room – often extremely blatant bias such as non or under-reporting of positive news on the SNP side (e.g falling crime figures or rising employment figures) or the burying of anything negative on the Labour side (e.g Mr Gray’s habit of insulting other nations, even in Parliament).

With the upcoming election, you might think BBC Scotland would make an extra effort to appear impartial, but no, they have just been a little more subtle, for example their dubious poll based on carefully selected ‘manifestos’ and commissioned using licence payers’ money to produce a desired result apart.

Being subtle can take many forms: for example in the same bulletin they have played video footage of Ian Gray’s opinion on an issue whilst relegating Alex Salmond’s position to a ”quote” on the same issue.  Sometimes Gray will be personally quoted on a particular issue but a “lesser” SNP figure will be given as a rebuttal, thus making the SNP position appear less important.  On another programme they had Gray playing football with kids, but Alex Salmond emerging from what appeared to be a pie factory – you get the drift?

One of the tricks used by BBC Scotland in their early morning bulletin is to manipulate the running order of their ‘unbiased’ election coverage in such a way that undue prominence is given to one Party.

To illustrate this : This week Mon-Fri, I sat through the early morning BBC Scotland news bulletin (specifically) the 8.30-ish one.

Note that these early-morning bulletins are the ones likely to be seen by swing voters from Monday to Friday, at breakfast-time, getting ready to go to work.

Each day this bulletin has reported what the various parties will be campaigning on that day.  Here is the running order for each day:

Mon: LAB CON LD SNP
Tue: CON LAB  SNP LD
Wed: LAB LD SNP CON
Thur: CON LIB LAB SNP
Fri: LAB LD CON SNP

What are we to make of this?

Labour get first shout 60% of the time, second shout 20% of the time, third shout 20% of the time, and are never mentioned last.

The SNP get first shout 0% of the time, second shout 0% of the time, third shout 40% of the time, and are mentioned last 60% of the time.

Is this fair and impartial news coverage?