Thursday, August 1, 2013

BBC London - what abuse scandal?


Some say that aspirations for Scottish independence are insular. Ditto the demands for a 'Scottish Six' national news service. However, one look at British television, especially in the company of someone from abroad, and the Anglo, London-centric nature of it stabs you in the eyes.

When Hearts met Hibs in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2006, the novelty of an Edinburgh derby in a major game was deemed to be of some importance in Londum. The guy in the studio turned to the video link and announced that 'our reporter is at Hampden Park in Glasgow...er or is it Edinburgh...no, Glasgow...'.

The general modus-operandi of the BBC and other channels based in London when assessing the value of a story seems to be one of:
  1. London
  2. The rest of England
  3. The US
  4. Anywhere else, if the body count is high enough
The latest child-abuse scandal and subsequent cover-up involving the Roman Catholic Church is one such example. BBC Scotland, to their credit, uncovered another saga of sickening child abuse at the former Fort Augustus Abbey School. As one of the offenders was allowed to flee Fort Augustus and to carry on his activities in his native Australia, the story has an international dimension. A dimension that failed to make it dahn sath though.


On a day when BBC Scotland's various media outlets were dominated by the story, the 'British' output from London neglected to mention it. We did learn though about increasing numbers of jelly fish on the west coast and of a project in Cornwall that teaches kids to swim in the sea.

As long as 'national news' continues to mean 'Britain' meaning 'England' meaning 'London' we'll be treated to 'news' that doesn't concern us - Scottish devolution, indeed the ins and outs of the Act of Union, has yet to seep into the London consciousness.

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