THE BBC has faced questions after its coverage of the Scottish Government’s launch of a “scene setter” for independence was branded “appalling”.

The Scottish Government launched a 72-page document outlining potential paths which Scotland could follow to stimulate its economy and reduce inequality and poverty after a Yes vote.

READ MORE: The 10 key points from the 'scene-setter' for an independent Scotland

Titled “Wealthier, happier, fairer: why not Scotland?”, the paper was launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Greens’ co-leader Patrick Harvie at a joint press conference at Bute House on Tuesday.

The BBC faced criticism after its dedicated BBC Scotland channel only showed placeholder content, including a news ticker which failed to mention the document’s publication.

Instead, the ticker carried headlines about a major tampon maker pledging to address shortages in the US, pop star Lizzo changing a derogatory lyric in her music, and Instagram launching new parental controls in the UK.

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“What is the point of BBC Scotland if they are unwilling to broadcast a live press conference about the key political issue of the day?” Alba general secretary Chris McEleny asked.

The news of the launch was also not covered on BBC One, which instead showed an episode of Rip Off Britain followed by Homes Under The Hammer.

SNP MP Carol Monaghan wrote on Twitter: “The First Minister sets out a plan for independence and BBC1 is showing Homes Under the Hammer.”

The broadcaster did show Nicola Sturgeon’s speech on both its BBC Two and BBC News channels. Although the beginning was missed, Sturgeon was speaking live on the channel for around 15 minutes before Green minister Harvie took over.

While Harvie was speaking, the BBC broadcasts both cut away to their news team, sparking further criticism.

McEleny told The National: “The BBC coverage of today’s key announcement on the promised referendum in 2023 was nothing short of appalling.

“Hundreds of thousands of viewers, including those most vulnerable to digital exclusion, that tuned into watch would have experienced the BBC cutting the feed less than half way into the press conference. Is there a particular reason that BBC Scotland didn’t think viewers such as old aged pensioners should not have been offered all of the available facts from the press conference?

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“The BBC must answer to why they did not show the event in full as this is hardly going to win back the trust of independence supporters as we move forward towards next year’s referendum.”

A BBC spokesperson rejected the criticism, saying the broadcaster had given "significant coverage" to the launch of the independence paper.

They said: "The First Minister’s announcement was given significant coverage across BBC news programming. Our reporting included an interview with the First Minister from BBC Scotland political editor Glenn Campbell ahead of the announcement, and a full preview on Breakfast News and on the News Channel.  

"The BBC Scotland news site carried the speech on its live page and it was also covered on social media, lunchtime radio on BBC Radio Scotland and on the News Channel.  

"The network News at One ran a live report with clips and the story also led the lunchtime Reporting Scotland programme. Our extensive reporting is ensuring that audiences are kept fully informed of this developing story."