By a Newsnet reporter
The Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) has called for an end to what it describes as the "media bias and negativity" it claims is harming the independence debate.
The body, which is in favour of independence, described as "distortion" much of what is written by many Scottish correspondents and journalists.

In a statement released to the media yesterday, an SIC spokesman called for an end to the "churnalism" he claimed was harming the debate and threatening the very survival of some Scottish newspapers.

"The Scottish Independence Convention remains appalled at the negativity not just of the No campaign but of the mainstream media in this country." he said.

Citing BBC Scotland pundit and Guardian reporter, Severin Carrell as an example of the prejudice and partiality that was hitting newspaper circulation, he added:

"Severin Carrell wrote yesterday in The Guardian that: ‘Alex Salmond has handed over control of the campaign for Scottish independence to a former BBC News executive and an ex-Labour MP in an effort to distance it from the Scottish National party.’

"This is clearly nonsense as the Yes campaign has been established to reach out beyond and across party barriers.

"This is a known and stated aim and one that is shared with the SIC.  It has been repeatedly stated by Angus Robertson - publicly and privately - that the Yes campaign needs to be beyond and above any single party."

Highlighting the exposure of corrupt practices uncovered by the Leveson inquiry and what he called, "the inherent bias built into the Scottish and UK media" the spokesman said Scotland was now witnessing a blossoming of new digital media as a result of this kind of reporting.

Calling for "a better media", he added: "This has been, and can be more and more a flowering of creativity as much as an attempt to correct prejudice and partiality.

"Amazing projects like Northern Lights and Blipfoto are as much a part of this flowering as are sites such as Newsnet Scotland and the hundreds of blogs (of all political parties and none) that have flourished.

"You cannot separate the need for an independent media with the arguments for self-determination.  As long as the unionist press insists on the churnalism of negativity and distortion they are likely to see the continuing downward spiral of newspaper sales."

The calls came on the same day that it emerged BBC Chiefs in London have ‘barred’ reporters from using the word ‘No’ when referring to the anti-independence campaign ‘Better Together’.

The broadcaster’s London bosses have claimed to use ‘No’ to describe the campaign against independence would "rob it of context".

The move by BBC bosses brings the broadcaster into line with the pro-Union campaign strategy that seeks to avoid mention of the word ‘No’ because of its negative connotations.

Launched last week, the Better Together campaign was also reported to be seeking to avoid the use of the word ‘Union’, fearing that it too has negative connotations.

Many observers noted that BBC Scotland continually refused to use the word 'Union' when reporting on the launch - which saw Labour form an alliance with the Tories and Lib Dems in response to 'Yes Scotland' - and instead insisted that the tri-party alliance was brought together to maintain the 'United Kingdom'.


# Marga B 2012-06-30 12:43
Nice to see not "opinion" but crucially styled "correspondent" Severin Carrell joining BBC in headline billing under the bias stakes.
# Grenscot 2012-06-30 12:52
The "No" campaign(presum ably we are still allowed to call it that on Newsnet Scotland) have built their whole strategy on demonising and attacking Alex Salmond. That strategy is now coming gloriously unstuck as the broader coalition for the "Yes" campaign takes centre stage and is headed up by two "well kent" and respected figures who are not currently in the political arena.
# davemsc 2012-06-30 15:02
I even noticed this on the New Statesman website, where they were referring to the No campaign as the campaign to "stop Salmond". I didn't realise independence for Scotland was the sole aim of one man.
# Dundonian West 2012-06-30 12:53
Severin Carrell:-
Current Scotland correspondent at The Guardian Newspaper.

Past Senior reporter, Independent on Sunday.
Senior reporter, The Independent.
Political correspondent, Westminster at The Scotsman.
Environment correspondent, Scotland on Sunday.
Home affairs correspondent,T he Scotsman.
# Leal 2012-06-30 12:53
They are such stick in The mud's these Foreign London Bosses of The Scottish Media.

No Scotland ,Bitter Together
has a better ring to it.
# nchanter 2012-06-30 13:17
I recently had the privilege of taking a group of Scots Guard on a days fly fishing. They are just back from Afghanistan and due to return in September. While giving some instruction to one lad (19) I asked what he thought of an independent Scotland his reply was I think we don't have enough money and that we would lose the Monarchy. I tried to explain the Royal prerogative and that Scotland is far from poor. I explained the value of our water supply (Loch Ness)etc. But the main issue for me was here we have our boys in a battle zone (and hating it) and knowing so little of their country. I am now convince that the dumbing down of our education system is working.It seems there is a lot of work to be done to right this wrong.
# alasdairmac 2012-06-30 13:42
nchanter. I've heard a few stories coming back from soldiers in the Scottish regiments and there appears to be a subtle but definate feed of anti-independence information going on in the armed services. It includes English officers referring to Scotland's "Dad's Army" and this sort of thing.
# rapid 2012-06-30 20:06
You've got to remember that claiming nationalist tendencies would have denied you DV clearance - less than a decade ago.

I was chatting to a very senior recently retired officer who was politically connectef in Whitehall and he'd genuinely didn't know the truth behind the unionist propaganda.

Having myself worked in and around Whitehall; Scotland is not a considetation, there's simply no one in power fighting our position. The English versions of the papers/news don't carry any stories about Scotlands politics.
# oldnat 2012-06-30 20:28
"Scotland is not a considetation, there's simply no one in power fighting our position." You have got that dead right. We don't actually feature in their thought processes.

"claiming nationalist tendencies would have denied you DV clearance"

An odd exception to that in the 60s was a university friend of mine who was a pretty fundamentalist Nat. He applied for a job at Dounreay - being a nuclear establishment, he required security clearance.

In addition to being a Nat, he was of Sicilian origin. He answered all the questions truthfully, including that half of his family had been Fascists, the other half being Communists - all of them involved with the Mafia.

He passed security clearance and got the job!
# J Wil 2012-06-30 14:43
I have a nephew in the RAF who is based at Lossiemouth. Whilst in the middle of swinging cuts to defence with the closure of air bases in Scotland I reckon his head has been filled with misinformation about the future status of Scotland by his English colleagues.
# bringiton 2012-06-30 13:26
The Labour No Scotland campaign supported by the pliant Unionist press are trying to make the case that
Devolution and Independence are two very different things.
Devolution created a puppet parliament in Holyrood with the minimum powers that they thought they could get away with in order to create the impression in voters minds that their wishes were being
catered for in Scotland.
Now that our parliament no longer takes it's political direction from London,the limitations of the present system are becoming clear to everyone.
Devolution and Independence are about which powers are repatriated to our parliament and as such are simply degrees of the same aspect.
Labour do not want people thinking in these terms (in fact along with the mindless diatribe from the Unionist media would prefer people not to think period).
If there is to be a second question on the ballot it must make clear which powers are proposed to be retained by London and why and also how it is intended to deliver such a solution.
# From The Suburbs 2012-06-30 13:47
As London has dictated that BBC cannot use "the NO campaigners" will they also ban the use of "leaving / splitting/ breaking up the United Kingdom" on basis the monarch will remain totem head of both independent countries or use of the word "nationalists" as there are British Nationalists on the NO side.
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-06-30 14:01
Does this mean BBC churnalists will be banned from using the expression 'no better together'?

The remaining attempts at retaining the State of England's last colonial influence are getting ever more shrill and panicked.
# rhymer 2012-06-30 14:06
As if they will listen and tiake any notice.

The Beeb thinks they are "above" any criticism.
They tell lies, they broadcast Labour's press releases as if they were
real news, they slant stories and they have shut down any response to the Scottish political news set.

A total clean out is what is needed.
# call me dave 2012-06-30 14:46
Slowly and surely the 'Shh don't say NO but vote NO' campaign is having to face up to the fact that a debate is to be had.

They didn't want to have the debate because they knew that if challenged their case was weak, hence the let's go straight to the referendum. They rely and count on the Media to smooth over the cracks in their argument and create scare stories on their behalf to frighten the electorate into the status quo, even hinting at the jam tomorrow which doesn't promise what it says on the tin.

It's beginning to look like the case for the UnionUnited Kingdom can't be made at all, even at a basic level.

There is nothing to fear except fear itself. .
# hiorta 2012-06-30 14:27
We need full control of Scottish Broadcasting - content and expression.
if it's good enough for minor countries, it's certainly right for us to have our own culture, identity and values associated with our public face, rather than it being forcibly gagged and hidden behind a foreign mask.
# Marga B 2012-06-30 14:55

- TV free to view - highly competitive (Catalanist) Catalan public regional TV, 4 channels (claimed to cost €40 per head/year) plus 4 national Spanish TVs, including 1 public.

- Press - Catalan press (not Sun type comics, real newspapers) - complete range of views including 2 independentist (6 main Catalan titles) competing with 4 main Spanish dailies. Top seller Catalan centre-rightish regionalist heavy.

Scotland/UK in general is a desert in comparison. How do you stand it?
# freeussoon 2012-06-30 16:19
"Scotland/UK in general is a desert in comparison. How do you stand it?"

We don't Marga B, that's why we're on here!!!
# rhymer 2012-06-30 16:31
For some obscure reason the football/murder/gossip format of the
Sun, Star, Times and Record seems to be the most popular, plus of course the Herald and the Scotsman, both of which are slowly but surely losing their readership.
My problem is more with the BBC as I have to pay for it regardless of whether it broadcasts lies or the truth.
England, N. Ireland and Wales have political news sites where comments are allowed but after the last Scottish Election Scotland has not been allowed to comment on what purports to be news on the BBC political site. Why are we being censored ?
# bodun 2012-06-30 16:47
O/T - well not entirely.

Here is a blog run by a friend of mine who is an SNP councillor in the Western Isles.

He is exposing the daily goings on in the council to public scrutiny and is being lambasted by the old guard - who are mainly 'independents' who are also Labour activists.

The small group of SNP ccouncilors (7 from 31) is doing a great job of acting as an official opposition for the first time in the council's history.

This blog is one of the many ways we can counteract the bias of the MSM and state broadcaster by using the power of the new media well.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-06-30 18:38
Thanks for that, it makes interesting reading. It sounds a bit like a wee satelite of Glasgow council.

At least Gordon Matheson isn't pretending to be an independent.
# Juteman 2012-06-30 17:04
I had a couple of folk at my door asking if i read the Dundee Courier or Telegraph.
Both of them were officials from DC Thomson.
When i told them that i don't buy any MSM papers in Scotland, they asked why?
My reply left them in no doubt why!
My answers were being written down. When asked what would make me consider buying DC Thomson products in the future, i replied that a pro-independence editorial policy would work. I'm not holding my breath.
# oldnat 2012-06-30 18:12
Partly as a result of the NNS statement, I allowed myself to be persuaded by a fellow-poster to try Twitter.

My idea of it was that it consisted of celebs telling the world what they had for breakfast (and they do!)

However, without it, I wouldn't have found these wee gems

"Scottish Labour's Cathy Jamieson has accused the Tories of pursuing an anti-Scottish agenda" - hypocrites!

An account of the Big Debate from a participant

Another LD for independence

I'm persuaded! Twitter does allow access to even more of the net.
# Macart 2012-06-30 18:46
Yep, Mr Carrell's columns are notorious on the Guardian site. Tagged as Scotland Correspondent, you would expect reportage. What you invariably receive is a very one sided and coloured view of Scottish politics. Its fair to say objectivity is not high on his agenda. Most recently over the Leveson/FM/Murdoch appearances his carpet bombing technique of six or more articles without comments allowed bordered on the ridiculous.

And speaking of Guardian shock, horror headlines check out this article:

Tavish stirring the Shetland porridge again.
# Marian 2012-06-30 20:42
The unionists and their chums in BBC Scotland and the MSM have tried for months to demonise Alex Salmond by portraying him as someone from Scotland with (as they portray it) an irrational desire to break up the UK.

Now the rug has been well and truly pulled away from under them with the timeous appointments of Denis Canavan and Blair Jenkins to lead the all party YES campaign.

One unionist myth down and more to go in the coming months I trust.
# Gaavster 2012-06-30 23:58
The appointment of Canavan and Jenkins to lead the Yes campaign to my mind is a masterstroke....

Can we expect a similar figure or figures to lead the NO/UNION/BETTER TOGETHER 'campaign'?

Come to think of it, have any leading Scots figures from the Arts, or outside the political arena, committed their time and energies to campaigning for the status quo?

# weegie38 2012-07-01 06:50
Quoting Gaavster:
Come to think of it, have any leading Scots figures from the Arts, or outside the political arena, committed their time and energies to campaigning for the status quo?


Can't think of many who are actively anti-Independence just now, but the composer James MacMillan could probably be persuaded. The problem for the Unionists is that he's obsessed with sectarianism, and seems to think Scotland is a country where it pervades every aspect of daily life.

Then again, he also simultaneously claims to be a devout Catholic and a Communist, so he's clearly not the clearest of political thinkers!
# tarbat 2012-07-01 14:59
So, BBC bosses in London have told everyone at BBC Scotland that they mustn't use the NO word to describe the NO campaign.

For me it's more important to establish why the BBC bosses have issued this directive. My guess is the directive originates from the Westminster government. Government control of our national broadcaster - surely not!

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