The National:

THIS year will see the launch of the new BBC Scotland channel.

We hope it'll enhance the political debate in Scotland, with a balanced perspective on independence and better coverage of Scottish issues.

We wish it the best of luck – because looking back on the 10 of the things the BBC got most wrong in 2018, it'll need it.

In no particular order...

1. 'Fake news' on GERS statistics

The National: File photo dated 16/07/13 of the BBC logo at Broadcasting House in London, as the over-75s could be asked to make a voluntary contribution towards their TV licence under a BBC initiative potentially fronted by stars of pensionable age. PRESS ASSOCIATION P

The broadcaster had to take the rare step of interrupting its 1pm TV news bulletin to offer an apology.

It came after a report on the release of the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) statistics, of which they had made an entire mess.

"The Scottish Government last year spent nearly £13.5 billion more than it raised, meaning the nation's deficit is four times higher than that of the UK as a whole," the presenter had said.

Except the Scottish Government wasn't responsible for all that expenditure. The figure counted UK Government spending too.

SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse was fierce in his criticism at the time: "The deficit figures are after UK Govt spend on pensions, welfare and cost of UK national debt service, Trident nukes (not wanted here) et al are added in!

"I am often frustrated by ignorant coverage but have often shrugged it off – this goes into seriously fake news territory & given how important this issue is, this sort of disgraceful misrepresentation is totally unacceptable from a very well resourced public service broadcaster."

2. The picture choice on a story about an MSP pay rise

Take a look at the above tweet.

They're smiling because they've all just received a nice pay rise, surely?

No. The picture is of the Scottish Government cabinet, and in fact, its ministers have chosen to freeze their salaries at 2008/09 levels, with the difference is donated to the funding of public services.

After criticism on social media, including from the First Minister, the article was updated to include a generic picture of MSPs in Holyrood's debating chamber.

The original tweet was not deleted, however, and that still had the old picture. 

The correction was issued as a reply through a separate Scotland Newsdesk account – meaning it does not appear as the top reply. The @BBCScotlandNews account did not retweet the correction from @BBCScotNewsdesk.

While many will have been misled, not so many will have seen the correction.

3. Suspending the YouTube accounts of pro-independence channels

The National: The BBC has backed down in its copyright dispute with Wings Over Scotland

The YouTube accounts of pro-independence channels Wings Over Scotland and Moridura were suspended after the BBC complained about copyright infringement.

Their channels featured clips taken from BBC shows, which Wings author Stuart Campbell said was covered by fair use exemptions to copyright law.

Indeed, many other accounts included such content, but it was two pro-independence channels targeted.

Labour councillor Scott Arthur rejected suggestions he was behind the BBC complaint.

BBC bosses eventually backed down, with its Scottish operations blaming their London colleagues for the decision, and asked YouTube to re-instate the videos, while a review was undertaken.

4. Coverage of allegations against Alex Salmond

The National: IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jackie Bird has been tipped to be the anchor of a new BBC "Scottish Six".

Jackie Bird had to apologise live on Reporting Scotland after this error.

It had been claimed on the programme that a Police Scotland investigation into the former First Minister had been launched after the SNP passed on two complaints of sexual harassment to authorities.

In fact, it was the Scottish Government, not the SNP, which passed on the allegations – which Salmond has entirely denied.

The presenter said: "The complaints were made to the Scottish Government, not the SNP. We apologise for this error."

5. Refusing Humza Yousaf's offer to be interviewed about bus services

The National:

When Humza Yousaf was still Transport Secretary, he revealed that the BBC had refused his offer to appear on Good Morning Scotland.

The BBC Scotland radio show was reporting on a survey which found "widespread dissatisfaction of local bus services".

Presenter Hayler Millar said: "We asked to speak to Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf this morning but were told he would be travelling."

In fact, Yousaf had offered to appear via Skype using onboard wifi, as he has done in interviews before.

The BBC said no to this, and were joined instead by Labour's shadow transport secretary, Colin Smyth.

6. Major blunder on Scotland's A&E figures

The National:

On the UK-wide Six O’Clock news, BBC News Scotland editor Sarah Smith reported that more than 100,000 patients in Scotland had spent more than four hours in emergency departments the previous week.

That statistic was for the entire year. As stated on the BBC's own website at the time, the real total for that week was 5696.

Every single A&E visit made that week only totalled 25,865.

This one didn't get a correction on-air, however, with Smith apologising only on Twitter.

7. Failing to make clear this story was about England and Wales

The National: Health Secretary Jeane Freeman provided clarity on the situation

Scottish Government minister Jeane Freeman was left criticising the "exceptionally poor" coverage of BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour.

She said the show had consistently failed to make clear when its debates and reports didn't apply to Scotland.

The particularly blatant example that provoked her comment was a report on women returning to prison after release in England and Wales – with no mention that these figures didn't apply to Scottish listeners.

"Equal partners", are we?

8. Claiming that Scots don't care about the power grab

The National: Photographs: Gordon Terris. Those at the event formed a symbolic human chain around the Scottish Parliament building

The Scottish Parliament refused consent for the UK Brexit Bill that would see powers stolen from Holyrood.

The BBC's explainer of the consequences was useful in places, but one passage caught the eye.

It read: "Nicola Sturgeon rarely shies away from a fight with Westminster. It's generally good politics for her to say she is 'standing up for Scotland' against ministers in London.

"Her problem is that this argument has not caught voters' attention. The right of the Scottish Parliament to have a definitive say over regulations governing the use of pesticides does not appear to cause great concern to Scots."

A bizarre excuse, and even odder given that it came in the same year as the hugely successful Hands Off Our Parliament event at Holyrood protesting the power grab.

9. Locking the First Minister out of its Brexit TV debate

The National:

Nicola Sturgeon labelled the potential Brexit TV debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May "an absolute travesty of democracy".

Both the Labour and Tory leaders would be debating from a position of being in favour of leaving the EU – whereas Scotland's First Minister would have represented the case for remaining.

In a letter to director-general Lord Hall calling for her inclusion, SNP depute leader Keith Brown said BBC guidelines required the broadcaster to be "inclusive, reflecting a breadth and diversity of opinion".

In the end, the BBC ended up without a Brexit TV debate all.

10. Steve Bannon's invite to a media conference

The National:

It has become incredibly apparent by now that giving far-right figures such as Steve Bannon platforms is a terrible idea.

Yet a media conference co-hosted by BBC Scotland invited him to appear for an interview and Q&A.

It prompted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to pull out of her appearance at the News Xchange 2018 conference, not wanting to share any kind of platform with Bannon.

The move won her much praise, and she revealed that the BBC's attempts to justify its decision to her saw them describe him as a "powerful and influential figure ... promoting an anti-elite movement".

As the First Minister said: "This kind of language to describe views that many would describe as fascist does seem to me to run the risk of normalisation.”