Petition Urges For A Probe Over BBC Bias On Scottish Referendum

Accusations of propaganda and a Lib-Lab-Con clique agenda

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A petition has been created on British non-profit political activist organisation 38 Degrees calling for an independent enquiry into BBC bias, propaganda and a government agenda behind the Scottish Independence Referendum.

The online petition created by George Moore and addressed to the government-approved media regulation Office of Communications (commonly referred to as Ofcom), which aims to attain 100,000 signatures and has so far reached over 82,000, calls for the matter to be investigated and for BBC conduct to be scrutinised.

Since the referendum last Thursday and the results being calculated with a ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ vote of 55 to 45 per cent against Scottish independence, controversy has arisen as many question the legitimacy of the election.

The news comes after video evidence claiming to show that the voting was rigged has circulated, sparking speculation.

“There is a suggestion that the BBC may be used to promulgate propaganda in this affair, may not be unbiased or may be being coerced or influenced to serve one particular agenda”, states the campaign.

Signatories of the petition have accused the Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) of presenting ‘one-sided, top-down assumptions about the referendum’, and demanded that the BBC ‘STOP trying to brainwash us’.

RT reports that there is the belief that whilst most Scots have supported the ‘Yes’ campaign on social networks, major broadcasters and media houses – particularly the BBC – have outwardly favoured the ‘No’ campaign.

Media Politics Professor John Robertson explained, “I am not surprised: the BBC is a national broadcaster and has a vested interest in a British state”.

“The BBC has been described as being in full propaganda mode. It is beyond bias”.

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Accusations against the pro-union perspective of the BBC surfaced after political editor Nick Robinson clashed with Scottish First Minister, Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and ‘Yes’ campaigner Alex Salmond at a press conference in Edinburgh. BBC News reported that Robinson sparked fury among independence campaigners for ‘heckling’ Salmond and asking imbalanced questions.

Up to 1,000 protestors flocked outside BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay office, Glasgow, to vent their anger; draping a banner adorned with Robinson’s face over the building’s entrance and calling for the political correspondent to be sacked.

But BBC denied the claims, with a spokesman saying, “We believe our coverage has been fair and impartial and has fully adhered to the requirements of our Editorial and Referendum guidelines”.

And the bias is not only confined to the BBC. The Guardian reports that anti-Independence and anti-SNP opinion has dominated many media publications. The Daily Mail dubbed the SNP ‘Seriously Nasty Party’; Former ITN royal reporter Tom Bradby said on an ITV blog that the nationalists’ protests against Robinson were ‘frankly rather sinister’ and that they ‘see bias around every corner [and] might want to think about the face they are showing to the world’; and most scathing opinion was from The Times journalist Melanie Reid likened Alex Salmond to a dictator and suggested ‘selfish Scots don’t know how lucky they are’.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), the voice of journalism that represents media professionals, has also observed that there is ‘abuse and intolerance’ across the media spectrum but journalists should not be condemned due to free press.

NUJ Scotland regional organiser Paul Holleran said, “Robust debate is fine. Pointing out when journalists get their facts wrong is expected and welcomed. But NUJ members believe in free press, a fair media, with journalists allowed to do their jobs free of intimidation”.

Yet many believe that the media has not been fair at all. It is reported that only one paper, the Sunday Herald, openly backed the ‘Yes’ campaign.

But despite Alex Salmond feeling that he was ‘heckled’ by Robinson, and certainly believes that the BBC coverage has been biased, this was ‘unconscious’ not intentional.

“Yes, absolutely. Of course it is”, he told Herald Scotland.

“They don’t realise they’re biased. It’s the unconscious bias which is the most extraordinary thing of all”.