Media analyst condemns BBC Scotland


Media analyst Professor John Robertson told MSPs he condemned BBC Scotland for "suppressing the dissemination of my research", on 11 March 2014.

The Education and Culture Committee was taking evidence on the TV coverage of the independence referendum campaign.

Earlier this year, the University of the West of Scotland professor published his research into BBC and STV coverage of the Scottish referendum campaign from September 2012 to September 2013.

In his submission to the committee Professor Robertson stated: "Taken together, we have evidence of coverage which seems likely to have damaged the Yes campaign."

The West of Scotland University professor told MSPs: "I would like to condemn the behaviour of BBC Scotland's department of policy and corporate affairs in suppressing the dissemination of my research, and in circulating an insulting and ill informed critique of my research, directly to my principal, bypassing my head of school, my dean, direct to the principal and also circulating that to all e-mail complaints they had about their coverage of the referendum."

The media analyst also condemned the "silence and collusion of almost all of Scotland's mainstream media in disappearing my research, despite its massive online presence."

The professor went on to condemn the silence of "almost all Scottish academics with an interest in this field" .

He interpreted all of the above as an "attempt at thought control in a democracy".

In the committee's second evidence session Director of BBC Scotland Ken MacQuarrie told MSPs there were "serious concerns" with the report which displayed "fundamental errors" leaving its validity in doubt.

A spokesperson for STV, at the time of the original publication, said: "We are confident that our editorial coverage referred to in this research is impartial."

You can watch BBC Scotland's evidence to the Education and Culture Committee here: Education and Culture Committee 2

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