BBC invites pro-independence commentators to discuss Sturgeon's record
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Users took to social media today to criticise a discussion held on BBC Scotland last night over Ms Sturgeon’s record as First Minister of Scotland. The programme hosted “two leading pro-independence commentators” who appeared to agree with each other “entirely” over Ms Sturgeon.
On the programme, the host said: “Let’s discuss this now [Nicola Sturgeon’s record] with two leading pro-independence commentators.”
Andrew Wilson, former MSP for the Scottish National Party, said: “Well it’s amazing to think that a Government that is 15 years old is still just as popular as it is now.
“And Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister is the pre-eminent politician in both Scotland and the United Kingdom.”
Ian Macwhirter, a columnist at The Herald, then said he “agreed entirely” with Mr Wilson’s comments.
He said: “I’d agree entirely with Andrew there. She is the pre-eminent politician of her generation in the UK. There is no one to match her.”
One social media user sarcastically described the discussions as “impeccably balanced”.
Another user said that he “could not imagine” this type of “one-sided” discussion about the sitting Prime Minister in England.
He said: “Can’t imagine the BBC allowing this kind of one-sided and shamelessly hagiographic discussion about a sitting prime minister.”
The BBC has come under increasing fire from regulators for its “historic failings”, with media watchdog Ofcom claiming that “listeners were doubting its impartiality”.
Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s group director for broadcasting and online content, said: “The BBC remains highly valued by the public and made a clear, positive contribution during the pandemic.
“But the last year has also seen its reputation hit by historical failings, with some viewers and listeners doubting its impartiality, and others feeling excluded.
“The BBC must dare to be different, extending its appeal to viewers and listeners of all backgrounds, classes, cultures, ages or locations.”
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According to the media watchdog, who produced an annual report stating its findings at the end of last year, the corporation received triple the amount of complaints last year compared to previous years.
In the 2020-2021 report, complaints about the BBC to Ofcom jumped from 1,673 four years ago to 5, 429 last year.
The report’s findings were made public a month after the BBC released a ten-point action plan to improve impartiality on its channels.
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC, said at the time that the broadcaster “cannot succeed unless we meet the very highest standards of editorial impartiality”.
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