Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Scotland through both ends of the media telescope

There is plenty happening at Westminster that would fill quite a few pages of a Scottish newspaper today, except that this is no ordinary day.

Just going to book a ringside seat for Prime Minister's Questions and for the debate on News International that will follow. Cameron is not taking part in the debate, though he might make it to the vote, but he can't escape a hammering on Coulson et al in half an hour.

The global spread of the News International Scandal, and the drama promised downstairs, mean stories like the Mull of Kintryre crash inquiry, the Secretary of State for Scotland in front of the Scottish Affairs committee and the end of fish discard, effectively the beginning of the end for the EU Common Fisheries policy, all fall down the news list.

Speaking of news lists, I open the Scotsman today to see a familiar, if depressing, "English bias" headline. This time its the BBC showing English bias in its news coverage, as if 90% of the population don't live in England and Wales.

The word England is rarely mentioned in the Scottish media these days, except in negative terms.

Here's an interesting challenge. Can anyone in the next week find a positive reference to England or the word English in any Scottish newspaper? I know it's the silly season, so there is a chance it might happen.

Postscript: It seems it is not just England that gets a rum deal from the Scottish medai. Professor Kenneth MacKinnon of Aberdeen University has been monitoring coverage of Gaelic in the Scottish press and found it to be "degenerated into inaccuracy, prejudice and mockery".

His report is here . Now he's revealed a universal truth about the media's treatment of Gaelic another academic might be interested in researching the media's treatment of England. As for Northern Ireland or Wales, our devolved cousins, they seem to be completely off the media map.

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