“A free, balanced, and representative media is not an optional extra in a democracy. It’s not a nice wee addition to provide a bit of entertaining diversion. Without a free, balanced, and above all representative media, there is no real democracy. Citzens in a democratic country need access to all relevant information in order to make an informed decision at the ballot box. But Scotland’s media is like a sex information leaflet from a fundamentalist chastity group – just say no is the only message.”
The independence referendum has been a learning experience for Scotland. Irrespective of how the vote goes in September – and I remain convinced that it will be a Yes – this country has improved and matured because of a campaign which has engaged this country’s populace with politics in a way that has never been seen before. The grassroots Yes campaign has produced a singularly remarkable achievement – it’s taught a nation of hard-bitten cynics how to hope again.
Scotland has learned some other lessons too, lessons which are not so pleasant. Even though the media in this country started out in this campaign from a very low baseline of credibility and public trust, it has managed to plummet even further. No one can seriously argue any more that Scotland has a representative media. Our newspapers and broadcasters do not reflect the breadth of this country’s views and experiences, with…
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