BBC Scotland breached accuracy guidelines on its reporting of the collapse of Rangers last year, the broadcaster’s governing body has found.
• Complaints about Rangers reporting on BBC Scotland upheld by BBC Trust
• “Anti-Rangers bias” claims rejected by governing body
The BBC Trust upheld complaints that BBC Scotland had incorrectly used the terms “old” and “new” club in online articles in its news and sport sections.
Complaints that such terms were a result of an “anti-Rangers bias” at the BBC Scotland were rejected by the Trust.
Several reports on BBC Scotland online had held that “old” Rangers, the entity that entered administration, became “new” Rangers once Charles Green’s consortium purchased the assets of the club and relaunched it in the Third Division.
Objectors maintained it was only the company, and not the club, that was liquidated.
The decision, reached the by Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee, said that such stories “had not used clear, precise language and due accuracy had not been achieved such that the guidelines on accuracy had been breached”.
The ECS added it was “satisfied that although there had been a breach of the editorial guidelines in relation to due accuracy and the use of clear and precise language, it had not seen anything to suggest that the BBC had knowingly and materially misled its audience”.
BBC Scotland said it stood by the accuracy of its reporting, but noted the Trust’s decision.
“We remain of the opinion that due accuracy was achieved,” a statement read.
“A football club, once incorporated, is indistinguishable in Scots law from its corporate identity.
“If the club was separate it would need its own constitution, committee members, trustees, etc.
“Rangers Football Club does not have that because it is incorporated.”
BBC Scotland also warned that the implications of the Trust’s decision could add “layers of complexity” to reporting that would “not be to the benefit of clear reportage or enhance the understanding of such issues by our audiences.”