I have spoken out quite a bit about how the mainstream media and the BBC in particular, have distorted and misreported the news and political commentary with regards to Scottish Independence.
But lets be clear about something here, If we are to complain with justification about bias and misreporting on the anti-Independence side, we also have to be absolutely sure that we on the social network, blogging and on line news sites, have to exercise balance and correct information too. If we do not ensure that the information we give out to others is correct, we cannot expect to be treated with any less suspicion.
Now I have followed Newsnet Scotland for most of its existence, and despite some of its internal fall outs, I have stuck with it, because of the quality of its output.
I have even been asked for, and gladly contributed a couple of articles to them in the past.
However, I have been having some doubts about its overly severe moderation policy on comments for the past while, where comment contributors are restricted on how much they can say, and they are not allowed to comment again in response or follow up,until a certain amount of time has elapsed.
While this is somewhat of an annoyance, I have broadly accepted their decisions, even when they have appeared to be somewhat too PC for my tastes in deleting comments.
At least they are considerably better than BBC Scotlands banning of comments relating to Scottish political blogs.
Newsnet did finally manage to annoy me today though..
They have been very good at helping promote the Campaign for balance in broadcasting rally, and have put up a couple of articles about it, and even provided a speaker for the event.. All good.
So what have I got to moan about?
In a previous article promoting the event, they listed the speakers who would be in attendance, with one notable exception at the time…Me.
That didn’t bother me too much, I accepted that they might not have known about my involvement at that stage, and that is fair enough.
However last night, they included a post rally article, and video, where they managed to list all of the speakers, bar me….again.
That did annoy me…not so much because they hadn’t mentioned me, but because it was beginning to look like they were quite deliberately omitting my presence for some unknown reason? They were in attendance, so there was no excuse for not knowing I had contributed.
I made a comment to the article along the following lines.. ” I could have sworn that I was speaking at this event, but perhaps I only dreamed that I had got soaking wet in the process.
But Well done to everyone who turned out on such an awful day! You all deserve thanks!”
I checked back later, to see if anyone else had made comments about the event….and guess what? They had only gone and removed the first part of my comment, and all that was left of it was… ” Well done to everyone who turned out on such an awful day! You all deserve thanks!”
I was not happy…and further asked for an explanation from them, as to why they had removed half my comment? I have as yet not had the courtesy of a reply or explanation.
Why Is this annoying me? Quite simply, I put the time and effort to contribute to this event, so the least they could have done was acknowledge my presence when they were mentioning every other speaker there.
But having failed to have done so, and having been reminded of their effort, they do not correct the omission, but rather remove the critical part of my comment, and redact it, to only leave the tail end statement…That is quite frankly dishonest!
It therefore causes me to ask, are they often as economical with the truth when reporting stories? If they are? Then they lose my trust as trusted source of information….and are no better than those which they criticise themselves for the same behaviour.
We on the Independence side of the debate have to make sure that we report accurately, and we get the positive information out there. We have plenty to work with.. what we do not need is doubts being placed on our own veracity..
So please can I ask Newsnet,and indeed any other pro independence site to stick to the facts,and If we make mistakes, then own up to them!
And proof that I was indeed there…at the end of the following video!