Monday, 11 August 2014

Professor John Robertson: BBC's framing of bad news on Independence

For anyone still doubting the significance of media bias over the Scottish independence referendum, please watch Professor John Robertson's excellent film, The Bigger the Lie.
In particular, take note of Robertson's points on news headlining, sequencing, sourcing and more subtle imbalances in the setting of negative messages - including the particular demonisation of Alex Salmond.  
Robertson also offers some deeply-incisive observations on the media selection/promotion of 'independent', 'objective' 'experts', such as academics and policy figures, none of whom are free from subjective, ideological motivation.

Robertson's vital exposure of the BBC is reflective of a nascent independent media in Scotland, now making its mark by challenging the BBC, STV and mainstream press - as typified by highly-informed denunciations from Newsnet Scotland, and this direct indictment of The Scotsman from Derek Bateman.  

Addressing the crowd at the recent Yes protest against the BBC's biased independence coverage, Robertson also related how the Sunday Herald had decided not to publish his research, its editor trying to soothe the issue by asking him to come and "have a drink" and talk about the matter.
Robertson's response: "I told him to get stuffed."

It's a reminder that, while admirable comment on independence is coming from some at the Sunday Herald pages, like Ian Bell and Iain Macwhirter, there's still a notable establishment-protecting boundary in place.

In another such aside, Robertson described his letter to Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell asking why he had so nastily caricatured Alex Salmond. Bell wrote back calling him a "fatuous nationalist dupe".

As can be seen in Robertson's own declared hostility to reductionist nationalism, in favour of a leftist, progressive case for independence, such responses say much more about the pompous hostility of a metropolitan liberal media mired in its own delusional identity. 

Professor Robertson's valued research and insights have also been approvingly highlighted by Media Lens and reproduced at The Drum.

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