Over 2000 attend anti-bias protest outside BBC Scotland HQ


  By a Newsnet reporter
A demonstration held outside BBC Scotland’s Glasgow Headquarters in protest at the broadcaster’s coverage of the independence referendum has attracted over 2000 people.
The demo was organised by Yes supporting licence payers angered at what they say is the corporation’s pro-Union stance in its coverage of the independence debate.

Described as a peaceful protest, people travelled from across Scotland to join with others in an attempt at drawing attention to the corporation’s referendum coverage.  The protest was the second such event held in Glasgow and followed a similar demonstration held four weeks ago.

Speaking to Newsnet Scotland, an organiser said: “The last event was attended by around 300 people.  Today the turnout has been far, far greater – probably over 2000 people”

Speakers at the event included Newsnet Scotland columnist Professor Mark McNaught and Professor John Robertson from the University of the West of Scotland, whose recent academic study found both the BBC and STV tended to favour the No campaign in TV news output.

Many had brought banners and placards highlighting what they believed was the BBC’s failure to provide balanced coverage of the independence referendum.

One couple who had travelled from Shetland said they felt the protest was important.

“The BBC is paid for by all of us whether Yes or No but it doesn’t reflect both sides of the campaign.” both said.

“They don’t cover stories that damage No, but are always headlining stories against Yes.”

The demonstration follows a series of similar events aimed at drawing attention to the BBC’s failings as an impartial broadcaster.

The corporation has come under fire over its handling of the independence debate with its own watchdog finding BBC Scotland guilty of misleading viewers following its coverage of the EU membership issue.

More recently the broadcaster has come under fire after it refused to cancel its £22,000 per year membership of pro-Union lobbying group the CBI.  The organisation had registered as an official campaigner on behalf of No, but then had the application nullified claiming it had been made in error.