Demonstration takes place outside BBC Scotland HQ as protestors demand balance

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By G.A.Ponsonby
 
A campaign group set up to tackle what they claim is a lack of balance from BBC Scotland in its coverage of Scottish political news has today demonstrated outside the BBC HQ in Glasgow.
 
Over one hundred people turned up on a scorching Saturday afternoon to call on the BBC to address a lack of impartiality in its debates and broadcasts as Scotland heads towards the independence referendum in 2014.

By G.A.Ponsonby
 
A campaign group set up to tackle what they claim is a lack of balance from BBC Scotland in its coverage of Scottish political news has today demonstrated outside the BBC HQ in Glasgow.
 
Over one hundred people turned up on a scorching Saturday afternoon to call on the BBC to address a lack of impartiality in its debates and broadcasts as Scotland heads towards the independence referendum in 2014.

Organisers, who advertised the protest using the online social media site Facebook, said they were happy with the turnout with some people traveling from as far away as Oxford.

The peaceful demonstration saw people of all ages gather outside BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay HQ in Glasgow in order to draw attention to what many have claimed is an institutional bias against Scottish independence.

At the demo, members of the public who had arrived with placards, banners and flags, mingled with photographers and cameramen in what was a good humoured event watched by officers from Strathclyde police.

Stalls set up by organisers displayed examples BBC Scotland’s news output and banners festooned the grassy area outside the BBC HQ’s building.

An event organiser told Newsnet Scotland that the protest had been a success and that they planned to continue with the campaign. 

Criticising the continual over-representation of anti-independence journalists and politicians on BBC Scotland political programmes, he said:

“This is the most important period in 300 years and it is vitally important that Scots of all persuasions are provided with honest and objective reporting and analysis by BBC Scotland.

“How can we have a mature and honest debate if the state broadcaster refuses to honour the most basic elements of its own charter and continues with a policy that sees Unionist leaning commentators over-represented on almost every political programme.

The spokesman also attacked the recent decision to close down Scottish political blogs and added:

“Scottish licence payers pay the same fee as those from the other parts of the UK, yet we are denied the same service. 

“Alone in the UK, Scots are prevented from participating in online debate on political blogs.

“Instead of protecting freedom of speech and consolidating quality, BBC Scotland appears to be trying to close down opinions it doesn’t agree with and dumbing down its output just as Scotland enters the most important period in over 300 years.”

The protestors, in a symbolic moment, placed gags over their mouths to highlight the decreasing opportunities BBC Scotland provides to members of the public in Scotland to engage in the constitutional debate.

Organisers say they plan to stage further protests and have called on people from across the constitutional divide to back their calls for balance and an end to the cutbacks that have seen highly respected programmes like Newsweek Scotland earmarked for the axe.