Nicola Sturgeon BBC News

Sturgeon issues stark warning to BBC to take bold action or risk losing the trust of Scottish viewers


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

August 27, 2015 | 3 min read

Nicola Sturgeon, says the BBC is failing to take into account the devolution of the UK regions.

Nicola Sturgeon has warned the BBC that they face losing the trust of Scottish viewers unless it offers dedicated TV and radio services for Scotland.

The first minister has accused the corporation of failing to recognise devolution around the UK and warned executives that it must take bold action in its charter review to keep up with its public service obligations.

In a speech due to be given to TV executives at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Sturgeon will propose a new federal structure of BBC boards for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England under an overarching UK board of trustees.

The proposals are part of the Scottish government’s push to decentralise the BBC and boost Scottish spending under the charter renewal process which will consider a range of options for reforming the BBC’s commercial operations, including full or part privatisation of Worldwide.

In her speech Sturgeon will argue that “Scotland, the BBC and all the nations and regions of the UK have the right to expect something truly radical from the charter review. A tight financial settlement cannot be a reason not to do things differently”.

The first minister will also say that a BBC that puts forward a bold proposal for Scotland, for the nations and regions, and for the UK will “have in us a strong and willing ally” however if the public broadcasting corporation offers “piecemeal solutions” they will “fail to meet the demands or restore the trust of Scottish audiences.”

In a statement ot The Drum the BBC said that they "recognise that there is audience demand for greater representation and portrayal of Scottish audiences on all BBC services and we want this to be part of our response in Charter Review".

Relations between Scotland and he BBC have been tense recently following the highly charged row over its news journalism between former first minister, Alex Salmond, and the BBC’s outgoing political editor, Nick Robinson.

Earlier this week Salmond accused the BBC of being the British state’s version of Pravda, acting as its mouthpiece. Since then, SNP MSPs have tabled a motion at Holyrood claiming that it has only spent £30m-35m a year on Scottish programming.

Sturgeon is expected to reiterate demands for a standalone English-language Scottish TV channel to be shown on Freeview as well as a second English-language radio service for BBC Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon BBC News

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