MP re-kindles ‘Scottish Six’ hopes

HOPES that the BBC might create a Scottish version of its main, 6pm news programme – widely termed the ‘Scottish Six’ – have been re-kindled by a SNP MP.

Pete Wishart yesterday wrote to Mark Thomson, director-general of the BBC, to ask him once again to look positively at the idea of a Scottish Six, which would see UK and international news reported via a Scottish editorial perspective.

Said Mr Wishart: “Following the Scottish election, there is a new political culture that has to be reflected in how Scotland secures its news coverage. But, instead, Scottish viewers are repeatedly being short-changed and increasingly misled in the news coverage of Scotland.

“We need a news service that properly reflects our national news agenda and addresses our news priorities. What we currently get is a misleading output that does nothing other than confuse the Scottish viewer when it comes to the coverage of domestic political news stories.”

But it is considered unlikely Mr Wishart’s appeal will change the Corporation’s long-standing reluctance to set a Scottish Six up.

Adds the MP: “The Scottish news viewer still receives irrelevant stories that have nothing to do with the Scotland they live in. For example, we now have a Scottish Government and a Westminster Government but the BBC makes no attempt to distinguish between the two when reporting key political stories.

“In the last few weeks, the average Scottish BBC news viewer is also likely to have learned more about grammar schools in England than innovations in the Scottish education system.

“No nation should put up with this, and now there is no good reason why we can’t have our news services produced in Scotland to serve the Scottish people. The days of reporting and observing our nation by proxy should come to an end and I hope that the director-general responds favourably to this suggestion.”