SNP attacks BBC over reporting of Scottish Government

BBC Scotland studios in Glasgow. Pic by John  Devlin
BBC Scotland studios in Glasgow. Pic by John Devlin
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The SNP has been accused of fresh attempts to "undermine" the BBC after claiming the corporation's news service lacks "context" and has lost the trust of many Scots.

But the claims have been branded "sinister" and "grievance politics" by opponents.

SNP media spokeswoman Hannah Bardell makes the claims in an Ofcom consultation response on the future of the BBC. The MP says that the Scottish Government does not get the same treatment as the UK Government in BBC coverage and that the new hour-long news channel must "change peoples' perception" of the BBC in Scotland.

Read more: Alex Salmond - BBC indyref coverage a blindspot
"The referendum was almost four years ago, and we have seen little evidence of BBC Scotland regaining the trust that it lost," Ms Bardell states.

"BBC Scotland TV news still lacks context,"

"Scotland’s performance is too often reported in isolation and not compared to results across the UK or internationally. A wider, outward looking view from BBC Scotland is needed.

"There is a disparity in political reporting. UK and Scottish governments are not scrutinised equally on BBC Scotland’s TV news.

"With the cuts at STV it is now even more important that the BBC ensure plurality in their news output in Scotland."

BBC Scotland's Glasgow headquarters was the target of protests staged by Independence supporters during the last referendum campaign amid claims of bias in its news coverage. Nationalists were accused of an attempt to restrict media freedom.

Read more: Yes protests at BBC "bias"

Tory culture spokeswoman Rachael Hamilton said: “The BBC is an internationally respected public service broadcaster, with decades of experience, expertise and impartiality. It is the envy of the world.

“This transparent campaign to undermine the BBC is simply further evidence of the SNP’s war on dissenting opinion or informed critique of Scottish nationalism.

“Most importantly this demonstrates the sinister way in which the SNP is undermining trust in our impartial news media, for its own gain.

“This self-absorbed submission is not in the best interests of Scotland – it would serve only to help the control freak SNP.”

Labour culture spokeswoman Claire baker added: "The SNP’s submission seems more like the greatest hits of nationalist grievance towards the BBC than a mature discussion on funding for Scotland and our creative industries.

“After 10 years in government rather than fixing our schools, NHS and public services, we instead have a governing party trying to put undue pressure on a public service broadcaster to deliver news in exactly the way they want to."