BBC Scotland replies to Macwhirter

AN article by columnist and political pundit, Iain Macwhirter, that first appeared on and then in last week’s MediaGuardian, has drawn a response from BBC Scotland.

In a letter sent to today’s MediaGuardian, BBC Scotland writes: “Iain Macwhirter is clearly missing his BBC research colleagues [from his recent job of presenting a lot of BBC Scotland’s politics output] if he thinks BBC Scotland is only providing some kind of localised news service.

“He should know – as he was part of the news and current affairs team at the time the research was done – that audiences across Scotland expressed a real desire for more coverage of news in their own areas.

“This was in addition to, and not instead of, the extensive range of national news output already covered – clear to see for anyone who looks at our website on a regular basis or tunes in to our wide-ranging news programmes on both TV and radio.

“Page impressions to our news website have increased significantly since we expanded our regional coverage in April, an increase that is mirrored in those taking advantage of the Listen Again service for our various regional news bulletins.

“Iain may not share that view but it is what our audiences have told us they want from us.

“For the record, Iain should also know that the efficiencies happening in BBC Scotland are also happening throughout BBC News and are aimed at getting the best value for money for all our Licence Fee payers.

“Savings identified will be put back into programme making so that audiences have the best possible output from us as we move into a fully digital age.”