THE BBC’s Reporting Scotland programme came in for particular criticism in the SNP’s submission to Ofcom.

It said many people north of the Border thought the channel’s daily news show, which is broadcast after the network news programme at lunch time and in the early evening, was “parochial”. It pointed out that it understood the average age of the Reporting Scotland audience was 61 and stressed the need for the new channel and news programme to attract a younger audience.

“We understand BBC Scotland’s 9pm flagship news programme will be aimed at a broad audience and look to attract a greater share of the younger audience. Achieving this is vital. With the average age of Reporting Scotland’s audience understood to be 61, this highlights just how different the style, tone and content the new channel’s news output needs to be compared to existing BBC Scotland TV news,” it said.

“The new programme must invest money and resource into unique high-quality content; it also must seek to be relevant to the political, cultural and social aspirations of Scotland’s younger and digitally engaged audience.”

It added: “It has been suggested that the channel will be closely tied to BBC Scotland’s website and BBC Scotland’s digital output in order to engage and attract that younger audience. The web news output from BBC Scotland is often just a reflection of Reporting Scotland. It is vital that the new channel commands its own agenda and generates strong multi-platform content for the main BBC website and social media channels.”

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The SNP’s submission also raised concerns about staffing, resources and the gender pay gap, saying the new channel must set out to ensure no gender pay gap exists in its staff from the outset. It welcomed the creation of 80 new jobs, but said these should not be at the expense of other media outlets. The document also highlighted “an ongoing problem with BBC network resources”, most notably a lack of working cameras located in and getting cameras to, rural Scotland.

It said: “A member of the senior management of the BBC in London recently told us it ‘wasn’t a good use of public money’ getting a working camera to Skye”.

“This is deeply concerning. If, as has been suggested, the new channel will feed into the network and improve coverage so Scotland gains due prominence then we welcome this too.”