NEW figures have confirmed what we all suspected about the BBC’s coverage north of the Border... that it covered far fewer stories about Scotland this year compared to 2015 and devolved politics outside England represented only one per cent of the overall news agenda.

A two-week study of BBC television and radio news coverage found that while the corporation had improved labelling of devolved stories, reporting from Scotland more than halved.

Cardiff University academics analysed the BBC’s coverage compared with independent networks for four weeks in 2015 and two weeks in 2016.

The report found: “The combined proportion of reporting about (or in) Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland fell significantly across BBC outlets. So, for example, on BBC television news outlets there were more than twice as many items from Westminster as items about any topic reported from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“Although the BBC communicates news about the four nations with greater regularity and clarity than commercial television, overall devolved politics continues to represent a fraction of UK network news.”

Items about Scotland, excluding Westminster and UK-wide items, increased in 2015 to 14.4 per cent but have since more than halved to 7.1 per cent of output, with English items increasing from 78.4 per cent to 85.8 per cent A total of 78 per cent of stories on devolved issues made clear what part of the UK they applied to, the highest level to date and ahead of other broadcasters.

The BBC Trust commissioned the analysis to look at coverage of the nations and regions.

Bill Matthews, BBC Trustee for Scotland, said: “Throughout this charter period the Trust has monitored the BBC’s reporting of an increasingly devolved UK, recognising that audiences expect their news to be relevant, accurate and representative.

“Whilst the BBC has clearly made improvements, it is disappointing that there is still work to be done.

“I welcome the increased obligations placed upon the BBC for audiences in the nations and regions by the new Charter.”