The BBC has once again been accused of ‘manipulation’ in its reporting, after it emerged that an interview with Nicola Sturgeon was heavily edited before appearing on Reporting Scotland. The broadcaster took out parts of Sturgeon’s comments that were crucial to the piece. But it’s not the first time this has happened.
A right of reply?
Sturgeon was giving an interview to BBC Reporting Scotland in the wake of attacks from critics over her visit to the US. She has received sustained attacks from Conservatives for ‘ignoring’ her day job. Some, like Conservative MSP Annie Wells, said that Sturgeon’s visit was “not up there” with other issues to the people of Scotland.
So the BBC gave Sturgeon the chance to respond in an interview with reporter James Cook:
This was the clip that featured on the Tuesday 4 April edition of Reporting Scotland. And some people were left wondering why Sturgeon didn’t use the opportunity to criticise the Tories. Notably Theresa May, who was also on a foreign trip this week.
Nope. No Tory criticisms, please.
It’s rather hypocritical. This week when I’m in the United States, the Prime Minister is in Saudi Arabia, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is in India and the Secretary of State for Scotland is in Burma. So, y’know, the idea that somehow for political leaders to take their country’s message overseas is wrong, it seems if you’re a Scottish Conservative [it] only applies when you’re the SNP…
And as Ponsonby pointed out, the BBC has done this before.
A history of bias?
On 5 July 2016, Sturgeon attacked the Tories over using EU nationals as “bargaining chips” in the Brexit process. But her comments didn’t appear in the final cut:
Here is what Sturgeon actually did say:
The BBC told The Canary:
The clips from the interview, shown on Reporting Scotland, covered subjects such as the purpose of the First Minister’s [FM] USA visit and her response to points made by critics. James Cook’s report was focused on what the First Minister was doing in the USA and extracts from the interview have been aired on other BBC outlets. We have covered the FM’s visit to the USA fairly, accurately and impartially and will continue to do so.
It’s not only Jeremy Corbyn who is subjected to seemingly blatant media manipulation and bias. The SNP and Sturgeon seem to have an issue with the BBC leaving crucial comments of theirs on the cutting room floor. Bias by omission? Possibly. The BBC not giving its viewers the full story? Definitely.
– Read more from The Canary on BBC bias.
Featured image via screengrab
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