Unions call on the BBC to devote substantial resources to Commonwealth Games and referendum coverage

THE BBC is being called on to set aside substantial resources to report both the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in two years’ time and the referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future, also in two years’ time.

The call comes jointly from the National Union of Journalists and BECTU, with a letter having gone to the BBC Scotland director, Ken MacQuarrie.

MacQuarrie is being urged to “work with the unions in formulating funding bids for additional investment”.

The Commonwealth Games coverage should, say the unions, have the same legacy ambitions as the BBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games in London.

Regarding the referendum, a dedicated special unit – “encapsulating news, current affairs, business, culture and politics” – is being asked for.

In August, 35 posts at BBC Scotland were earmarked for redundancy, as part of an ongoing programme of job cuts, as a result of a 16 per cent reduction in budget following a deal agreed two years ago between the BBC and the Westminster Government to freeze the TV licence fee for six years.