Theme: Society & Culture | Content Type: Journal article

Navigating the Scottish Political Landscape: An Analysis of BBC Scotland in the Independence Era

Andrew Liddle

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| 1 min read

This essay examines the complex relationship between the BBC and Scotland's evolving political landscape, shedding light on the challenges faced by the broadcaster since the inception of devolution in 1999 and particularly the 2014 independence referendum. The study contends that the BBC, in its attempts to address accusations of inherent bias and to adapt to Scotland's unique political identity, may have overreacted. Examining the shift from regional opt-outs to the establishment of the dedicated BBC Scotland channel in 2019, the essay argues that this strategic pivot may now be increasingly redundant amid the diminishing likelihood of a second independence referendum. This change challenges the channel's relevancy and poses commercial concerns for Scotland's production industry. Highlighting the risk of restricted appeal, this essay suggests that the declining relevance of the independence debate necessitates a re-evaluation of the BBC's approach in Scotland. The analysis underscores the need for adapting to the still evolving Scottish political landscape and argues for strategic measures to ensure the continued relevance of the BBC in Scotland.

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    Andrew Liddle

    Andrew Liddle is a Scottish journalist and political commentator. He is the author of two books on Scottish history and politics, the award-winning Cheers, Mr. Churchill! Winston in Scotland and Ruth Davidson and the Resurgence of the Scottish Tories.

    Articles by Andrew Liddle
Volume 95, Issue 1

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 95, Issue 1

Includes a collection on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, edited by Suzanne Franks and Jean Seaton. This features articles such as 'The Governance of the BBC' by Diane Coyle; 'A Public Service Internet - Reclaiming the Public Service Mission' by Helen Jay; and 'BBC Funding: Much Ado about the Cost of a Coffee a Week' by Patrick Barwise. There are a wide range of other articles including 'Back to the Stone Age: Europe's Mainstream Right and Climate Change’ by Mitya Pearson and 'Labour, the Unions and Proportional Representation' by Cameron Rhys Herbert. Finally, there is a selection of book reviews such as Lyndsey Jenkins's review of Fighting For Life: The Twelve Battles that Made Our NHS and the Struggle for Its Future by Isabel Hardman, and Victoria Brittain's review of Three Worlds, Memoirs of an Arab-Jew by Avi Shlaim.

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