Monday, 1 March 2010

STV = Salmond Televion?

Is Scottish Televion (STV) truly an independent broadcaster or has the Scottish Government been manipulating it for its own PR?

The reason the question has to asked is that a letter has come to light between STV chief executive Rob Woodward and First Minister Alex Salmond. The letter gives a commitment tot STV coverage of the Scottish Government's Homecoming festival last summer and mentions plans to introduce more Scottish programmes. However a telling line is:

"I will write separately to Linda Fabiani (then the culture minister] to introduce our commercial director, David Connelly, to explore how we can incorporate our innovative thinking around television exposure to the benefit of the government."

What can the phrase 'to the benefit of the government' mean? Well The Times Scottish edition is saying that a redacted amount of taxpayers money was being used to sponsor three television series made by STV under the banner of Homecoming Scotland. The shows had an overall budget of £5 million. This from a government that is complaining that Westminister is not giving them enough money for essential elements.

I did comment that a recent SNP party political broadcast looked like a Visit Scotland advert. Is it true that three whole series have been paid from from taxpayers money to be a elongated advert for Scottishness and the SNP agenda?

As Iain Smith the Liberal Democrat Culture Spokesman said:

"Independent braodcasters aren't there to act as PR agencies for the government."

The shows in question which included Made in Scotland and Scotland Revealed replaced The Bill and Doc Martin in the schedules. The former highlighted Scottish icons and the second looked at scenery, however the first did have a over nationalistic approach in some of its subject matter and presentation.

Was this another staging post of independence by stealth?

1 comment:

  1. Stephen, this is yet more synthetic outrage and vexatious complaining - which I assume you know only too well.

    Calum Cashley has pointed out the truth behind the story - truth which is both lacking in your post and the newspaper reports:

    "So who hosted these shows which were undermining the impartiality of STV, which were an attempt to buy favour and influence, manipulated a commercial broadcaster, and turned STV into public relations consultants?

    * Kirsty Wark, Labour supporter, friend of former First Minister Jack McConnell MSP.
    * Charlie Kennedy MP, former leader of the Liberal Democrats.
    * Alastair Campbell, one time gentle persuader for Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    You can see how that twists it all towards support for the SNP, can't you?"

    Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story now....

    As Calum says, mind how you go...