A few days ago I got a ressponse to my letter to STV and Ofcom, but due to being too busy actually with the election I didn't get around to tell you, my readers that. As I expected when I wrote the thing they would hide behind the defence that because the writ had not been moved they were not bound at the time to give balance.
However, looking at last night's result the early nod from the media to only two parties in this race are STV complicit in the squeeze that resulted in both the Lib Dems and Tories losing their deposits. If Jim Parker the Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity Party candidate can accuse the parties of starting the campaign shortly after John MacDougall was buried, he ignores that fact that at least in the case of two of us we were already fighting the perception that the press were putting about that it was only about two parties. Two be honest of what I had seen and heard of the two candidates for Labour and the Nats they weren't the best men for the job, indeed hearing Lindsay Roy too much in the early hours of Friday morning, while waiting beside the A92, even he seems to think so.
The Nats last night claimed a positive campaign, well seeing the attacks on daily of their literature I find that hard to believe they can say that with a straight face.
I'll dig out some example later and do an update.
But if balance in election coverage in the printed press is battling to get into the final paragraphs of their coverage, which the Tories seemed to fail to do more than us, then we need to look at the rules for coverage of elections more carefully. Yes there is the letter of the regulations but the spirit of them can be breached before the campaign even gets underway and can affect the battle and the outcome ahead.