This morning witnessed several news stories, each questioning independence, given prominence by the BBC in Scotland. A weekend story based on yet another ‘uncertainty’ announcement from an investment compay accompanied yet another report issued by the CPPR.
Wedged between both items, both which served to create a very clear anti-independence narrative on BBC Scotland news, was another report based on further claims of uncertainty from a body called the UK Chamber of Shipping.
Unreported, aside from a brief mention in an interview with Nicola Sturgeon in which the Deputy First Minister was forced to respond to the latest wave of spurious claims, was an announcement of a new written constitution for Scotland.
In terms of news value, the constitution beat the others hands down – claims of ‘uncertainty’ are hardly headline news grabbers these days and are now appearing almost routinely. Similarly, attacks on the Scottish Government by the CPPR are unsurprising and have been a regular feature of BBC Scotland referendum coverage since 2011.
Perhaps the best graphic demonstration of just how blatantly BBC Scotland manipulates the news agenda in order to benefit the No campaign can be seen in these two snapshots of its online news website this morning. The image below shows the very clear priority afforded a story that benefited the anti-independence campaign and the lowering of the constitutional story to even less importance than a story abour cows and the internet [click to enlarge].
Within two hours of appearing, Nicola Sturgeon’s speech on a new written constitution goes from first on the main news page to fourth. One hour later and it moves even lower, sitting below a dog attack on a man. Five hours later, just before midday and the constitution item had dropped further, down to tenth place.
Notwithstanding the dreadful attack on the man at the hands of the dog, are cows giving milk and dogs biting people really more important than a new written constitution for an independent Scotland? According to BBC Scotland the answer would appear to be yes.