BBC creates new Scotland editor role as referendum ramifications rumble on

By John Glenday | Reporter

August 28, 2015 | 2 min read

The BBC has announced that it is to create a new post of Scotland editor in the wake of criticism by some nationalists of its referendum coverage, most notably first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

BBC, Scotland

The post, which has still to be advertised, will see the broadcaster recruit a journalist to report on Scottish issues for UK-wide reports, commencing by the end of October.

It follows months of hand ringing at BBC Scotland’s headquarters as the network seeks to reshape its services in light of the fast changing political landscape north of the border. As a result of that debate it is intended to give greater prominence to Scottish affairs alongside issues which affect only England & Wales.

One unnamed official told the BBC: “It is a recognition that Scotland has become a story in itself.

"One of the criticisms of our reporting was that it took time for a story in Scotland to reach the network: this is a response to that.”

Sturgeon criticised the BBC at the International Television Festival by claiming that it had failed to analyse the case for Scotland remaining within the union to the extent that it had the SNP’s case for independence.

The new post is being offered to an existing broadcaster or a new face and will carry a similar profile to the likes of US editor Jon Sopel, Europe editor Katya Adler and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

Jonathan Munro, the BBC's head of newsgathering, said: “We have been considering the appointment of a Scotland Editor for some time, and this week’s announcement is unrelated to any comments about recent coverage of Scottish events. BBC News is proud of its Scotland team, their coverage and analysis of events and their unwavering impartiality. With Holyrood elections and EU referendum on the horizon, and a significant change in Scotland’s representation at Westminster, our aim is to strengthen even further our coverage for the whole of the UK. The new Scotland Editor will have extra resources to work with which will boost our newsgathering firepower."


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