IT’S somewhat ironic that your report taking the BBC to task yesterday on how trusted its news coverage is was in itself a highly selective cherry picking of the 38-page Ofcom Media Nations Report (Falling viewers and relevance are a ‘wake-up call’ for the BBC, August 7).

Ironic because you refer to audience trust – and then chose to select only the parts that appear to paint the BBC in the most unfavourable light.

You no doubt have your own reasons why your news judgement leads you down that route but in the interests of fairness your readers should also note the following within the Ofcom Report:

READ MORE: BBC 'losing relevance' in Scotland as viewership plunges

  • Although it’s true to say that, in the top 20 sources of news in Scotland, BBC One has gone down to 54%, the channel is still at the top of that list ahead of STV at 51% and ahead of all other media including newspapers.
  • Although BBC One remains at number one on the same list, it’s also significant that five other BBC services (the news channel, the website/app, Radio 2, BBC Two and Radio Scotland) are also within the top 20. Only three newspapers appear on that list
  • While it’s also true that for news about Scotland, slightly more go to STV than to BBC One, other BBC outlets, including Radio Scotland and the website, should be factored in too to give an overall BBC figure as many people consume their media in different ways. You also fail to state that Reporting Scotland is consistently the most watched news programme in the country.
  • So while we’re not complacent about BBC One or how we cover Scotland, we still take heart from the fact that overall BBC services continue to be the first port of call for a wide range of programmes including news and current affairs.

Lastly your readers should be well aware that audiences in Scotland benefit – each year – to the tune of an additional £100 million from the BBC that isn’t properly reflected in this report.

When we launched the new BBC Scotland channel we said we’d spend an additional £40m a year in Scotland – £20m on the new channel (added to £12m of existing BBC Two Scotland content that switched to the new £32m a year service) plus a further £20m a year of additional network programming – and we did so because audiences in Scotland told us they wanted more relevant content that mirrored their lives.

It was described at the time as the biggest programme investment in Scotland from the BBC in a generation. That remains the case and we’re very pleased that Ofcom have highlighted the strong start for the BBC Scotland channel, with a viewing share of 2.7% across the first four months, placing it just behind only the five public service broadcasting channels in Scotland.

Ian Small
Head of public policy, BBC Scotland

I REFER to the article by Greg Russell in Monday’s edition (Catalan ‘men in skirts’ seek cultural link-up with Scotland, August 5).

It may interest you to know that the good people of Catalonia actually have their own tartan (pictured). Commissioned by Catalans in Edinburgh, the Catalunya Escocia tartan is registered no 11163 on the Scottish Register of Tartans. The colours are based on the Estelada, the flag of the independence movement in Catalonia.

READ MORE: Catalan ‘men in skirts’ establishing annual kilt day

It was launched at a fashion show in Glasgow, the occasion being the Football Fashionistas fashion show at the second Tartan and Turban Burns Supper at the Thistle Hotel in aid of Show Racism the Red Card. It represented Barcelona.

The event was organised by the Sikh community in the West of Scotland and was compered by Hardeep Singh Kohli. His fee was a kilt in the Spirit of India tartan.

David McGill
International Tartans

BILLY Briggs’ article (Children’s Blood on the hands of Westminster, Sunday National, August 4) made gruelling reading as it gave detail contained in a recent UN report on the killing and maiming of over 12,000 children in armed conflicts over the past year.

READ MORE: UN report finds Westminster has blood of children on its hands

As the article points out, these crimes against children are not only committed by those who fire the weapons, but also by the arms companies and governments who sell them and license these arms sales.

The UK Government has an appalling record of complicity in this murder by being one of the biggest providers of arms to the criminal regimes of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In the same issue of The National, I also read with interest about Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) which has 11 national wellbeing outcomes, including Human Rights and International Relations.

Will the Scottish Government now follow these through by following the example set by its predecessor government in 2014, after that year’s massacres in Gaza, and call for an arms embargo against Israel and Saudi Arabia?

I look forward to living in an independent Scotland with an ethical foreign policy without blood on its hands, but these measures have to start now.

Helen Skulina