Springingtiger's Blog

Scottish Six and Positive Spin.

A summer’s day at the seaside.

There is a lot of discussion at the moment about BBC Scotland possibly getting its own integrated, daily, evening, news program the ‘Scottish Six’ instead of the current arrangement that gives viewers in Scotland half an hour of English news broadcast followed by the pile of pish that is Reporting Scotland. Considering the idea has been around for twenty years, no one can accuse the BBC of rushing into anything. However I’m not about to moan about how Scotland, of all UK regions that have a percentage of the licence fee returned, has the lowest percentage return. I’m not going to complain that BBC England is hogging all the UK’s broadcasting resources or that the Scottish Current Affairs budget has been cut. I am not even going to highlight how the once internationally respected BBC news services, the envy of the world are now looked upon with a contempt previously reserved for Fox News, their palpable bias obvious to even the least media aware. No I’m going to grumble about negativity.

We all know that BBC reporting about Scotland tends to be less than positive and for that BBC Scotland deserves much of the blame. A Scottish Six provides a place to introduce a positive spin into Scottish reporting and the obvious place to start is the weather. There is nothing as negative as Scottish weather forecasts and I do not feel that the argument that they merely report what the weather in Scotland is going to be like is an acceptable excuse. I appreciate that for many people the Scottish weather is cause for despondency, but that is not the fault of the weather the blame lies squarely with the broadcasters. There is no reason for the television News to present the weather so negatively and it is time they presented it positively to raise the spirits of the Scots listeners. I was thinking today as the wind tore the towels off my clothesline that instead of focussing on gusty weather, dangers to high sided vehicles and that sort of thing it might be better to encourage people to look forward to ‘a braw day for kite flying’. Why do the presenter seem to take such pleasure in telling us how wet the morrow is going to be when they could instead start off with, “It’s good news for Hay fever sufferers as pollen counts will be dramatically low…”? There’s so many possibilities: “There is very little danger of drought.” “The Scottish Government does not expect to have to impose a hosepipe ban.” “Get out those ice axes, the winter climbing season is on its way, why not dress as a Sherpa for Halloween?” Or possibly, “The Met Office warns the danger of being bothered by Trick-or-Treaters will be low tomorrow because of tornadoes sweeping in from the Firth of Clyde.” “For all you white water rafters out there, the Black Cart Water should prove exciting this weekend!” “Glasgow City Council say it does not envisage a need for standpipes this July.”

People remark on the drive, optimism, and enthusiasm seen in Scottish politics compared with elsewhere in the UK, in Scotland people seem to enjoy politics… It’s because we can’t enjoy the weather! Down south they can enjoy the weather instead. If the BBC could make Scots feel happy about the weather they might save the Union, but they need to get a move on before some Scot invents waterproof ice-cream.


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