Results of an internal survey carried out by the BBC have revealed a widespread disillusionment in current management at BBC Scotland.
Newsnet Scotland can reveal that an internal survey, carried out in October 2012, shows faith in Pacific Quay management is far lower in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.
The survey, passed to Newsnet Scotland by a BBC insider, contains data that BBC Scotland management refused to hand over to the Scottish Parliament’s Culture Committee.
Results show low morale amongst staff at the Pacific Quay HQ, with less than half (42%) saying they believe internal communications are honest. The figure plummets to less than one quarter (23%) in the News and Current Affairs (NCA) department.
When asked if “Communication at the BBC is open and honest” only 10 per cent at BBC Scotland NCA agreed.
The survey, carried out 18 months ago, appears to support claims of internal struggles currently taking place within the BBC in Scotland, with management decisions being challenged by the NUJ.
Newsnet Scotland understands that the results of the survey, although made available to departments throughout the UK within a few weeks, were held back from BBC Scotland staff for six months.
Results from the survey show an almost universal lack of faith in management at Pacific Quay with staff satisfaction and trust lower than the rest of the UK, and in the NCA barely a third to one quarter that of the UK as a whole.
Some of the questions and answers were:
We are ‘One BBC’ (The BBC version of “all in it together”)
- WHOLE BBC AVERAGE YES – 20
- BBC ALL-SCOTLAND YES – 20
- BBC SCOT NEWS&CA YES – 05 (five)
The leadership team in my division… uses employees’ ideas and suggestions to improve the way we do things
- WHOLE BBC AVERAGE YES – 38
- BBC ALL-SCOTLAND YES – 38
- BBC SCOT NEWS&CA YES – 09 (nine)
The leadership team in my division… does what they say they will
- WHOLE BBC AVERAGE YES – 44
- BBC ALL-SCOTLAND YES – 44
- BBC SCOT NEWS&CA YES – 17
The leadership team in my division… acts in the interest of the BBC as a whole
- WHOLE BBC AVERAGE YES – 59
- BBC ALL-SCOTLAND YES – 53
- BBC SCOT NEWS&CA YES – 18
In what appeared to be a reference to claims of bias at BBC Scotland, the unnamed insider said: “Not everyone at BBC Scotland is wicked, but many are scared and bullied.”
The individual added: “The official Staff Surveys are supposed to be every two years or so, so the next one would be after the referendum.”
The internal survey follows increasing dissatisfaction in output at BBC Scotland in recent months, with some high profile commentators, including Gerry Hassan and Lesley Riddoch, criticising the poor quality of programmes.
The corporation has come under fire for a lack of imagination in its coverage of the independence referendum. BBC Scotland has also been accused of favouring the No campaign in the style and substance of its news reports.
Later this month an academic study of news output from morning news programme Good Morning Scotland will be released. The study, which ran from April to May, was commissioned by Newsnet Scotland after a successful crowd funding appeal.