What is a journalist?

The jailing of Craig Murray hasn't only raised serious questions about Scotland's justice system, it has made vexed the matter of what constitutes journalism and who is entitled to call themselves or be regarded as a practitioner of journalism. The issue of the justice system I leave for another time. And perhaps for another writer. … Continue reading What is a journalist?

The manipulators

Predictably, there were some Yes supporters who couldn’t resist signalling their glee at the prospect of several hundred people and their families facing uncertainty in the weeks before Christmas. If, like me, you have learned to question absolutely everything conveyed by the media, you will have read Kevin McKenna's assertion in The National and wondered … Continue reading The manipulators

Conspiracy as an emergent property of organisations

The following is adapted from an article titled Unconscious bias which was originally published by Indyref2 on 15 August 2016. When assessing the BBC’s coverage of Scottish politics and the now undeniable bias in favour of the British establishment it would be a mistake to think in terms of a formal conspiracy. If you’re imagining a … Continue reading Conspiracy as an emergent property of organisations

Long live the Queen!

The British media in Scotland aren't always negative. We are accustomed to a daily diet of unremitting gloom, doom and despair served up by journalists who have made a career of portraying Scotland as a country made entirely from dreich held together by dour. All is crisis and chaos. Unless it's catastrophe and collapse. If … Continue reading Long live the Queen!

An alien force

WE REJECT CRITICISM That could be BBC Scotland's strapline. It could almost be their mission statement. It certainly reflects the British state broadcaster's smugly complacent attitude to criticism, as will be testified by anyone who has experienced the corporation's arrogantly dismissive attitude to complaints. All of which is reminiscent of the current debate about the … Continue reading An alien force

Freedom from the press

There is a curious contradiction in Carolyn Leckie's argument. On the one hand, she appears to recognise that the British mainstream media is inherently biased in favour of the British establishment of which it is a part. On the other, she urges us to "get across our arguments in a clear, friendly factual, positive way" … Continue reading Freedom from the press

The death of truth

Just thought I'd drop this into the current discussion about the condition of media and journalism in Scotland and elsewhere. It's an extract from an article titled The death of truth which first appeared in the March 2017 issue of iScot Magazine. Isn’t there an irony - delicious or distasteful according to personal taste - in … Continue reading The death of truth

The immaculate innocence of journalists?

A recent piece on the excellent Lallands Peat Worrier blog contained the following less than flattering assessment of mainstream political journalism,Understanding the politics of devolution increasingly demands that we understand the law of devolution. Regrettably, most of our key commentators and opinion formers still haven't the nearest, foggiest clue about how the powers and reservations … Continue reading The immaculate innocence of journalists?