LESS than a quarter of Scots want the BBC to start broadcasting a Scottish Six evening news programme, a poll has suggested.
A survey by YouGov found that 23 per cent of those questioned wanted to see such a show. Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) want BBC Scotland to continue broadcasting the UK news at 6pm followed by a 30-minute Scottish news show.
The BBC is to begin trialling an hour-long news programme that could replace both Reporting Scotland and the Six O’Clock News in Scotland. It has drawn up three options for a new format but has said no decision has yet been taken on which, if any, would be introduced.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already welcomed the move as “a really exciting opportunity”.
The BBC’s main Six O’Clock News programme has been criticised by some viewers in the past for featuring stories that have no relevance to Scottish audiences, for example on health and education, which are devolved issues.
As part of BBC’s Scotland’s election coverage, the Reporting Scotland programme will be extended to an hour from Monday, 25 April.
A BBC Scotland spokesman said: “We are continuing to test a number of options as part of our ongoing review into our news services and we are producing pilots as part of that process.
“Ultimately – just like the newspapers – our main aim is to provide the best news offer possible and that is why we’re exploring a number of possible formats.”
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YouGov asked about the issue when it surveyed 1,070 people in Scotland between 7-9 March.
Critics fear the plan could have an impact on the quality of coverage. The National of Union of Journalists has expressed disappointment at the lack of staff consultation.
Scottish Labour spokeswoman Claire Baker MSP said: “A Scottish Six must be fully consulted with staff and more importantly the general public, with focus groups showing a clear desire for a UK perspective on UK and international stories.
“Any changes to BBC news coverage must be made for the right reasons and quality must always be maintained.”