Proposals for TV news devolution

Key figures from journalism in Scotland have welcomed proposals to devolve news broadcasting north of the border.

This week, members of the newly set up Scottish Broadcasting Commission – which will look at the issue – were announced.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has already backed devolution of Scottish TV news, and demanded that Scotland gets its own 6pm national news bulletins on ITV and BBC One.

Journalist Charles Fletcher, who runs media support company Caledonia Media, said: ‘I think it’s long overdue. There’s a ridiculous scenario in Scotland that radio producers and journalists can select local and national/international news and their television counterparts are restricted to Scottish news. There’s absolutely no reason why journalists in Scotland cannot put together a national and international bulletin.”

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: ‘I think it’s healthy for democracy; the more news issues covered, the more accountability and the more people you get on the street asking questions of the authorities. We need more programmes being made in Scotland, news, documentaries, drama. That will generate jobs and keep people here.”

A spokesperson for SMG TV Productions said: ‘SMG welcomes the First Minister’s announcement and we agree with his comments that broadcasting has a crucial and central role in our democracy.

‘We believe that there is a huge amount of creative talent in Scotland and, as we’ve been saying for some time now, winning more network commissions is vital.”

Scottish Six, an hour-long news bulletin from Scotland on BBC One, was first proposed after the 1997 devolution referendum.

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