Another Nail in BBC Scotland’s Coffin

For some considerable time now there has been concerns raised about BBC Scotland’s lack of neutrality in regard to Scotland’s independence referendum campaign. Questions continue to be raised about the anti-independence stance that appears to underpin the public broadcaster’s coverage of the campaign. Given that the BBC is a publicly funded body that Scottish voters have to pay for in terms of a compulsory licence fee. It was hoped that news reporting leading up to the vote on Scottish independence would have been impartial.

Now to add fuel to the criticism of BBC Scotland’s lack of neutrality, last week we had the revelation that BBC Scotland was a member of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry). The CBI is a London based business lobbying group with a Scottish branch. Recently the CBI announced it had registered with the Electoral Commission to be recognised as an official anti-Scottish independence No campaigner. This announcement led to a number of businesses in Scotland resigning their membership of the CBI, including the television channel STV. STV and BBC are the main broadcasters in Scotland and at least try and claim a policy of neutrality. The STV seeing that belonging to the CBI would compromise their claim of impartiality immediately quit the CBI. It was only after this that the BBC admitted to also being a member of the CBI.

It has been obvious to everyone that the CBI has been anti-independence for some time. Their formal announcement, as pointed out in a recent Guardian newspaper article, led to questions on the BBC's links to the CBI. After considerable pressure the BBC has said it would now suspend its membership of the CBI. However, unlike other organisations, including STV, who quit with immediate effect, the BBC has only announced a suspension from the 30 May to 18 September. This leaves Scottish voters now being forced to pay a Licence fee to the BBC. Which itself subscribes to an organisation that has formally declared itself as a supporter and financial contributor to the anti-independence Better Together No campaign! Just one more example of the continuing farce of BBC Scotland’s referendum coverage and its plummeting reputation in Scotland.


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