A protest group campaigning against what it insists is political bias at BBC Scotland has announced that it is to discontinue with its demonstrations.
The group, who recently gathered outside the BBC’s Glasgow HQ to protest against what it claimed was a culture of anti-independence reporting at BBC Scotland, made the announcement this evening.
Speaking to a Newsnet Scotland reporter, a spokesman for the campaign group claimed the recent high profile attack on a respected BBC Scotland journalist at the hands of a Labour MP had convinced them to call off their own public demonstrations.
The organisers said that they believed their recent demonstrations have now achieved their goal of bringing to the public’s attention what they described as the problem of institutional political bias at BBC Scotland.
The spokesman said: “We have therefore voluntarily decided to discontinue our demos with immediate effect.”
In a reference to the attack on BBC Scotland’s Isabel Fraser, the spokesman added: “After months of being totally ignored by the BBC and the rest of the mainstream Scottish media, the issue of political reporting by BBC Scotland is now acknowledged only after an outrageous attack on a highly respected reporter by a Scottish Labour MP.”
Commenting on a report in an NUJ website that claimed a leaflet distributed by the group implied journalists could face losing their jobs in an independent Scotland, the spokesman added:
“It was never our intention to make any individual at the BBC feel threatened and if our peaceful, democratic demonstrations in any way did that, we apologise unreservedly to those individuals.”
The spokesman insisted that although the protests were at an end, journalistic standards in Scotland remained a concern.
He added: “However the NUJ and their members would do well to reflect tonight on whether the non-reporting of peaceful protests attended by a large cross-section of private citizens was in keeping with the kind of journalistic standards they claim to aspire to.
“Like the NUJ we were appalled at the public labelling of an individual BBC journalist as ‘biased’ by an elected Member of Parliament. We are also disappointed, but not surprised, by the complete lack of condemnation from Ms Fraser’s journalistic colleagues who should have pursued the Labour MP involved, but did nothing.”
[Newsnet Comment: The apology offered by the protest group when the leaflet wording was pointed out was immediate and should be congratulated. It mirrors a similar apology offered today by independence supporting journalist Martin Hannan who was involved in a passionate debate with Unionist journalist Alan Cochrane in a Radio Five Live broadcast earlier this morning [Tuesday].
These immediate apologies contrasts markedly with the silence from Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont who has singularly failed to speak out against the shocking behaviour of Labour MP Ian Davidson in his attack on Isabel Fraser and the disgusting twitter comments aimed at First Minister Alex Salmond by Unionists determined to politicise the London Olympics.
BBC Scotland has questions to answer with respect to its political coverage, Newsnet Scotland has provided more than enough evidence to suggest that there are issues to be addressed at Pacific Quay.
The BBC Scotland protests may be over, however the pursuit of a level playing field will continue until and beyond the 2014 independence referendum.]