Saturday, 28 January 2012

Independence and Broadcasting

I'm going to go against unofficial rules here and write this article WITHOUT reading the Scottish Government's policies of Broadcasting post-independence. But it's my blog so I can bloody do what I like!

A little disclaimer here: all views stated are my own and there is little, if any evidence to back up my claims. I'm using a bit of judgemental analysis here (i.e. guessing).

I'll balance things first:

Private media organisations are free to support whatever political party or cause they wish. Any backlash will come from customers, not the taxpayer.

The BBC on the other hand is wholly funded by the taxpayer. It should be completely neutral and must present news and current affairs objectively and truthfully. This does not always happen, although not to the extent that some claim. The BBC also likes to cause division. Not simply Scotland v England but just about on any topic you can think of. The organisation is is desperate need of restructuring.

A certain James Murdoch has called for the BBC to be disbanded. No guesses for what organisation he would like to replace it, and funded by the taxpayer.

Which brings me to the Broadcasting issue post-independence.

Why oh why is the Sun so supportive of the SNP? It not only reflects the Daily Record's support of Labour but outshines it. I read the Sun on a daily basis - I don't buy it but a colleague does. I also read the Daily Record as well. Both publications are similar.

News International is Bad News in England. The Sun dare not step foot in Liverpool.

But up in Scotland the company does not appear to be considered as bad as elsewhere.

If there is one thing that the Sun is good at, it is predicting a political winner. Hence they see the SNP are worthy of their support - increased sales and influence policy. You are not going to convince me that News International is supportive of the SNP for any other reason.

If Scotland becomes independent, then the BBC is history. You can bet your mortgage that the SNP will be out for blood, and the primary target is the BBC. But it needs replaced. "Oh, let's see who has been nice to us."

The Sun, aka News International.

James Murdoch wins.

The SNP can write all the consultations and manifestos they want. But I firmly believe that News International will gain substantial prominence in an independent Scotland. And that is bad news.

The SNP cannot be criticised for getting whatever media support they can get. But with the ongoing investigations into journalistic practices, and the news today of the arrest of four former and present Sun journalists, the SNP needs to be cautious.


  1. And this News International dominance will be different from today how? Sometimes I seem to be the only person I know who doesn't watch Sky. In any case, I don't think Rupert Murdoch - James is not so smart it seems - is counting on any favours long term. Politicians are famously ungrateful and forgetful creatures. And "here today and gone tomorrow" as Robin Day put it.

    If people in an independent Scotland wanted a public service broadcaster - like almost every country in the world - then that's what they'd get because some party - or all of them - would put that in their manifesto.

    Insofar as Murdoch might have an agenda, my bet would be that he would not oppose an "SBC". His real interest would be served by making sure that it was funded like the BBC, by taxation, and not by advertising. He cannot prevent competition for eyeballs, but he can make sure that there is less competition for advertising money. Your mileage may vary.

  2. Seems a fair statement of the BBC and the MSM.
    If Honest news reporting is what you want, look at the blogs as well, it soon becomes obvious who to believe, who is biased and which way, and who tells lies by ommission.