Nationalists raise thousands for anti-BBC billboard campaign

Group says it aims to expose BBC "distortion" but Beeb says it will not "pay deference to one particular political viewpoint or another"

A GROUP of Scottish nationalists have just about raised enough money to pay for giant billboard across Scotland accusing the BBC of "distortion".

Inform Scotland has raised £7,000 of an £8,500 target to pay for adverts on 10 poster sites which it claims will draw "everyone's attention to the ways in which they are being lied to". 

The BBC rejected any suggestion that their coverage was partial.

On its crowdfunding page, Inform Scotland wrote: "We know that a significant minority of people in Scotland still trust the BBC as a publicly-funded broadcaster, and are quite unaware as to how they are being misled.

"Here is a rare chance to find out and to share the truth about Scotland and it's future." John Robertson

"We want to give people a bridge to alternative narratives to what they regularly hear on BBC Scotland or read in the so-called 'Main Stream Media'.

"We are aiming for 10 giant posters across Scotland. We will buy as many poster sites as your generosity allows. Our members intend to repeat this process with other posters on this or similar subjects."

Former professor of media politics at the University of the West of Scotland, John Robertson, threw his weight behind the campaign, saying: "Ninety-nine per cent of what we hear and see on BBC Scotland comes from mouthpieces of anti-independence sources. Here is a rare chance to find out and to share the truth about Scotland and it's future."

The crowdfunding page features a mocked up board show the Reporting Scotland logo, beside the text "BBC is Misreporting Scotland".

However, the plans have prompted controversy within the wider Yes movement, with a number of people expressing both concern and support on social media channels.

 

 

A spokesman for the BBC said its priority was to provide fair and impartial coverage, and not toe a party line: "Public service journalism exists to scrutinise and ask questions of those who are responsible for public policy decisions, while also doing the same for those who oppose them - no matter which political viewpoint they represent.

"Because of the way we are funded we don’t, as some newspapers do, follow any particular political viewpoint – it is our responsibility to provide outlets for as many voices as possible as we strive to provide fair and impartial news coverage.

"Reassuringly, audiences continue to tell us that the BBC is still the news provider they trust most, while we take heart from the fact that Reporting Scotland is by far the most watched news programme in Scotland with almost half a million viewers tuning in every night.

"There are those who would clearly like our journalism to pay deference to one particular political viewpoint or another - that is not, nor will it ever be, our role." BBC

"We therefore reject any suggestion that our coverage is partial.

"There are those who would clearly like our journalism to pay deference to one particular political viewpoint or another - that is not, nor will it ever be, our role."

The Advertising Standards Authority was unwilling to comment, but said it would always expect advertisers to obey rules and ensure adverts are not misleading, harmful or offensive. 

Picture courtesy of Go Fund Me

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Comments

gjm's picture

gjm

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:48

Ho ho ho. The BBC implying that the 'billboarders' aims are to force them to lose their impartiality in favour of Independence. Aye good one that.

PIcking fights with the media is pointless we cannae win there. Getting into a bitching contest wi' the BBC or the papers for that matter is seriously stupid given that they have massively wider platform, reach a lot more folk and can turn it around on us and do it all day every day if they want to.

Born out of frustration but a seriously misguided tactic.

MDMAok

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 19:01

I completely agree. All the money should be spent advertising our positive message, rather than pointing out the shite the BBC broadcasts. Better Commonspace had the money. I understand the frustration, and I have read and understood James Robertson's stats.

Brian Doonthetoon

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 19:50

I think the point of this billboard campaign is to raise doubts, to get people to question what they will eventually be told in the Indyref2 campaign.

Their time is in the next few months - not during the coming campaign. I think they would be counter-productive once a date for Indyref2 is announced and the campaign gets under way.

People who don't really engage would, I think, see them as sour grapes, once the campaigning ramps up.

Crepusculous

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 22:27

I took a bit of an interest in this campaign but their website looks dreadful on Android with their header image not adjusting size properly. I tried to let them know via the support email address but it bounced. Not a good start and not a good image to have linked to the independence campaign.

Bill Melvin

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 09:43

People suggesting anti BBC posters is enough to make them vote NO hardly sound like rational undecided voters. The grassroots YES campaign is about getting control over our own affairs with the aim of making Scotland a better place for all our citizens. The BBC was a disproportionate voice for the NO side during the last referendum as the detailed research already published proved beyond question. People who say the best policy is to accept this and do other things are either in denial or living proof of the power the broadcaster has in how it uses its access to most homes. To suggest people just accept this and don't question it might be an example of how well its working.
This debate actually deflects from the main issues of the Independence debate but no-one should be in any doubt of why we want independence, it is our only way of providing better prospects for our children and grand children, if that requires us to call out our public broadcaster then so be it!

PaulinEd

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 18:37

Beeb says it will not "pay deference to one particular political viewpoint or another" unless it helps maintain the status quo and the precious Union of course. Otherwise.....we will not pay deference.....

gjm's picture

gjm

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 19:46

Ach changed my mind a wee bit. Still think it's a poor tactic to get into an argument with the BBC but it is still important to oppose what they say and detail their shite somewhere for the record.

jaydeeess

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 20:09

Is it wilful or just unintelligent? When the BBC says it will not be partial to one political viewpoint, are they really suggesting that this campaign is about getting them to support independence rather than the status quo? When what is being asked is that they give equal weight to both sides of the argument. Their responses actually reinforce the case against them. This is the problem with institutional bias. It is not recognised by those who perpetrate it. Calling it out at least stands a chance of getting more people, including the journalists and producers themselves, to face up to and recognise biased reporting.

MariaF

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 23:48

"The BBC rejected any suggestion that their coverage was partial"

Well, you don't say!

As a national broadcaster funded by enforcing TV licences over those that dare to watch TV, it is not longer a question of how biased the BBC sees itself, isn't it? Actually, who cares how the BBC sees itself? It is really a question of how much misinformation the viewers are prepared to put up with before they decide they rather give up watching TV altogether.

"Reassuringly, audiences continue to tell us that the BBC is still the news provider they trust most...Reporting Scotland is by far the most watched news programme in Scotland with almost half a million viewers tuning in every night"

Interesting. According to the National Records of Scotland, in 2015 there was an estimation of over 2.4 million households in Scotland. This means that there is almost an 80% of the households in Scotland that do not watch this program. If the BBC is the most trusted provider and it gets just a 20% of the audience, I just wonder how many households do not trust any provider at all and they just decided to give up the licence altogether.

I find the billboard campaign a great idea. The BBC refuses to see their own bias, so somebody will have to show it to them.

As for those claiming that they are prepared to vote now NO simply because of the billboards are bringing some truths to home regarding the BBC: please do not insult the intelligence of Yes or No voters. Bullying tactics and project fear have been the signature trademark of the Unionist political parties for a while: when they don't longer have credible arguments, then spat the dummy out of the pram and out it comes project fear and the psychological blackmail of the masses. Not cool.

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