GLASGOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – BBC Scotland is “hopelessly compromised” and “nakedly campaigning for a No vote” in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum, a Professor in media studies has told RIA Novosti.
Professor John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland has produced two detailed research papers revealing the extent of bias in the British state broadcaster’s coverage of the independence referendum campaign.
Robertson told RIA Novosti, “BBC Scotland, News and Current Affairs Department is now hopelessly compromised and nakedly campaigning for a No vote.
“Supporters of independence in the BBC and in the Scottish press, other than in the Sunday Herald [A Scottish newspaper supportive of independence], are frightened to speak and even the Sunday Herald will not join the overwhelming evidence-based attacks on the BBC from thousands of online critics,” Robertson added.
Robertson was responding after the BBC confirmed one if its high profile presenters was to be “let go” as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
Last week Robertson produced his second academic paper highlighting “perceived institutional anti-independence bias in BBC news reports.”
The BBC dismissed the research.
The National Union of Journalists, (NUJ), which represents staff at the BBC, said the decision to dismiss one of the broadcaster’s most well-known presenters was the latest in a series of grievances the trade union was dealing with. A spokesman for the NUJ added that it was actively considering industrial action that could hit the BBC’s coverage of the Commonwealth Games and the Scottish independence referendum to be held on 18 September.
Award-winning broadcast journalist, Lesley Riddoch, who started her career with the BBC told RIA Novosti, that urgent action was needed to address the issues. “It’s hard to see any solution short of establishing a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation following a Yes vote.
“But perhaps an advisory panel could be set up and consulted over independence referendum programming would help,” Riddoch added.
Last month BBC management ignored pleas from their own journalists at BBC Scotland to resign the Corporation’s membership of the overtly anti-independence organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
BBC journalists warned management that ongoing membership of the CBI was “incompatible with our duty of journalistic impartiality.” But BBC management ignored the pleas and confirmed it would maintain its membership of the CBI.