When I was asked to join the BBC Broadcasting Council for Scotland in 2000, I was an enthusiast for the Scottish Six. Health and education stories were reported from London with almost no appreciation that the Scottish NHS and Scottish schools had always been run from Edinburgh, with big policy differences north and south of the Border.
But the Scottish Six debate caused the BBC to mend its ways. So I have changed my mind. I still want the Six I see in Aberdeen covering big issues like Zika, the US presidential election, Jeremy Corbyn, Syria, Trident, and Brexit from a UK perspective, by top BBC reporters. Reporting Scotland that follows the Six does its Reithian best to educate, inform and entertain. It is much helped in the latter by the commanding performance of Scottish football.
Carlton Place, Aberdeen
I am somewhat perplexed by your leader (2 August) concerning the proposed Scottish News at Six for one hour.
I watch news programmes between six and seven in the evening. If I feel I want to watch all Scottish I can watch STV followed by BBC Scotland. If I want all national news I can watch BBC followed by STV. If I want a bit of both I can have half an hour of each either on BBC or STV.
I have always found both channels to be reasonable in their coverage and I cannot understand the constant carping from SNP quarters on this issue. It is not, however, difficult to see the objective here where there is an underlying desire on the part of the SNP to have greater influence over broadcasting.
This is a dangerous area we are getting into in Scotland, and on the back of the Named Person scheme we should beware of where all this is taking us.
Drumbrae Place, Edinburgh
I have never understood why we need a Scottish Six. At present, our news coverage at 6 o’clock is split equally between Scottish news and wider UK/international news. That seems to me about right.
If there is a criticism, it is that a lot of news in Scotland is given very superficial coverage. South of the Border, they dig in to things a lot more.
If we want to transform our understanding of Scotland and how it works, we should commission a regular Scottish version of Panorama, which encourages first-class investigative journalism, digging in to places where no-one else wants to go and really holding politicians to account. Such a programme, even twice a week, would soon start to create its own momentum and change the news agenda away from the kind of stories we currently get which are little more than public relations.
Taybridge Terrace, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
It will not be easy for the BBC to tread a path through all the disparate views over the Scottish Six. Much of the unease comes from the government of the day in Scotland.
The SNP are old hands at misleadingly presenting themselves as being Scotland, with a ‘we-know-best’ approach. The worry will be that the SNP narrative of grievance against the UK and tendency to see world events through a Scottish centric perspective will come to ever more dominate the news agenda.
West Linton, Peeblesshire