BBC Radio Scotland defends itself against Devine criticism

A MOVE towards more speech-based programming during the day is being cited by BBC Radio Scotland in its defence against an attack on it by a prominent Scots historian.

Yesterday, The Herald reported Professor Tom Devine describing BBC Radio Scotland as a “national disgrace”.

He was quoted, as saying: “I’ve long thought that BBC Radio Scotland is a national disgrace, and it’s our BBC. There could be a resource issue but I don’t think that excuses the constant stream of cheap musical programmes. It seems extraordinary that when we are debating the most important issue in the history of the nation, at least since the 18th century, that we should have such an inadequate broadcaster.”

And today the paper publishes an extensive riposte mounted by BBC Scotland.

Magnus Gardham quotes a BBC spokesperson beginning: “Tom may not be aware, but Radio Scotland has been moving towards a speech-by-daytime, music-by-evening schedule for some time. Our evening music strands are highly valued by our listeners who don’t share his view that we provide too much music.

“And while Tom may not like phone-ins, listeners tell us that they value the chance to participate and contribute to the issues of the day rather than only having an option of listening to the opinions of a limited number of voices.”