FULL marks for perseverance. Last week, the BBC’s own governing body, the BBC Trust, upheld a complaint by a BBC Radio Scotland listener, Liam Robertson, about a news item stretching back almost two years.
Says a report issued by the Trust, there had, indeed, been “clear breaches of those [editorial accountability] guidelines in relation to the handling of this complaint”.
Robertson would simply not accept the answers he was receiving.
And the Trust was also critical of what prompted the complaint, in the first place.
It was, on reflection, a remarkable coincidence of events.
First, a freelancer is drafted in to present an early morning news briefing. And, says the Trust, because Colin Kelly was a sufficiently regular presenter, he should not have been given permission by the BBC to take part in an advert on STV, for the Glasgow Science Centre.
Says the Trust: “The Committee wished to emphasise that no blame [should be] attached to Mr Kelly himself: he had requested permission and, when he was granted it by a senior BBC person, had then, quite reasonably, gone ahead with appearing in the advertisement.”
But it doesn’t stop there. The very briefing that Kelly is presenting was going to carry a story about the Centre, involving a MSP’s concerns about continuing technical problems with the Centre’s rotating tower. But while the story appeared in other BBC output, it didn’t in the briefing.
And the reason? Concern by the newsgathering editor that, were the story to run, listeners might feel there is a conflict of interest taking place. In other words, Kelly reporting a story relatively critical about the Centre might be viewed as a conflict of interest, whereas the story not appearing at all in the briefing would be viewed as, er, okay.
The Trust’s suggestion? Another presenter for that particular story, perhaps?
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TOMORROW, it is being reported, the warship, HMS Edinburgh, is headed for Liverpool, to be decommissioned. But last week, it berthed in Edinburgh, followed by its crew marching through the streets of the capital. It was a three-day trip from London to Edinburgh, beforehand, and joining the crew were a reporter and a photographer from the UK news agency, the Press Association.
Their mission: to report what it’s like, behind-the-scenes.
The reporter was Scot, Paul Ward. Said the multimedia journalist: “We experienced life on board in every sense: eating with the officers and sleeping in a six man cabin with tight bunk beds – imagine sleeping in a toaster.”
But he goes on: “The memento I have from the trip is a small bruise on my forehead from jumping up when my alarm went off on the first morning.”
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THE Daily Record had an exclusive the other day about Scotland fans possibly having to pay as much as £1,500 should they want to unfurl a giant banner at an upcoming football match versus England at Wembley.
Writes the reporter, it follows fans already reeling from ticket prices costing up to £67 each.
A great story, written by David Taylor.
Surely not Scot, David Taylor, chief of football’s European governing body, UEFA, doing a bit of moonlighting?
Of course not. But a delicious thought.
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THE Herald cartoonist, Steven Camley, has been persuaded to host a solo exhibition of his work – so his paper was reporting the other day.
By the sounds of it, it might have taken quite a bit of persuading.
The multiple winner at the Scottish Press Awards – including this year – obviously prefers his work to do his talking, reports Alison Campsie, who quotes him as saying: “The whole focus is on me and I am absolutely cringing because it is such a solitary job.”
He is further quoted, as saying: “Up here [in his attic studio], you don’t really talk to anyone, so I am coming out, blinking into the light.”
The exhibition – at the Smithy Gallery in Blanefield, Stirlingshire – runs until the ninth of next month.
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IT wasn’t Gary Robertson who interviewed the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, the other day – as at least one newspaper, the other day, suggested.
But it was Robertson’s Good Morning Scotland colleague, David Miller, and it did end abruptly, to become UK-wide news.
Asked David Miller: “Remind me, how many elected representatives you have in Scotland?”
Replied Farage: “Absolutely none, but rather more than the BBC do. We could have had this interview in England a couple of years ago, although I wouldn’t have met with such hatred as I am getting with your questions, and, frankly, I have had enough of this interview – goodbye.”
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