The Constitutional Commission holds a public meeting, “What is the role of Broadcasting in Scotland?” on Tuesday 11 December 2012 at the Scottish Parliament.
This month broadcasting in the UK celebrates the 90th anniversary since its inception as 2LO or the British Broadcasting ‘Company’, the forerunner of the BBC.
Many would argue the broadcasting bar in Scotland is set by the BBC. And all is not well. Trust in the BBC has never been lower, according to pollsters. The BBC is mired in controversy over Jimmy Savile, Newsnight editorial decisions, debate around the quality of its output, as well as the cuts in its Scottish budget in the run up to the independence referendum.
Although Lord Reith claimed he envisioned an independent British broadcaster able to educate, inform and entertain the whole nation, free from political interference and commercial pressure, he also stated of the establishment during the 1926 General Strike, ‘They know they can trust us not to be really impartial.’ Some claim little has changed.
Of course the broadcasting scene has altered dramatically since the BBC had the monopoly. However, the debate about content, quality, impartiality and governance in broadcasting in Scotland has intensified.
The Constitutional Commission provides an unmissable opportunity on December 11 to discuss this pressing issue with a panel of distinguished speakers at a public meeting.
Iain MacWhirter – Iain is a political commentator for the Sunday Herald. He has also been a presenter of BBC political television programmes from Westminster and Holyrood for nearly 20 years. He is Rector of the University of Edinburgh.
Tom Devine – Professor Devine is Senior Research Professor in History at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Scottish Centre of Diaspora Studies. Recently dubbed as “The Big Beast of Scottish History”, Tom has played a vital role in informing and balancing public debates on important issues in Scotland.
Ewan Crawford – Ewan, an experienced print and broadcast journalist, was private secretary to John Swinney as SNP party leader, and is now a lecturer in journalism at the University of the West of Scotland and continues to contribute to journalism and broadcasting.
Joan McAlpine – Joan is a journalist currently at the Daily Record and SNP member of the Scottish Parliament for the South of Scotland.
Kate Higgins – Policy Manager at Children 1st and writer for the Herald Scotland. Keen to influence social change in Scotland through social media and web, Kate runs a popular blog “A Burdz Eye View” and an active Twitter.
John Drummond (Chair) – Chair of the Constitutional Commission.
For event detail, please go to the event webpage.
The event was fully filmed and now is available on-line.
Several related materials have been published before and after the events. See below:
John Drummond – What is the role of Broadcasting in Scotland? – Newsnet Scotland
Alex Grant, The future of BBC in Scotland – Bella Caledonia
Radio Scotland chiefs held in contempt by staff says leading historian – Newsnet Scotland
Tom Devine, Failing the nation?: The decline and fall of Radio Scotland - Scottish Review
Pete Murray: On the job cuts at BBC Scotland – allmediascotland.com