Not flam­ing torches but not a day to nip out ei­ther

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS -

What as­ton­ished me in the months be­fore the cam­paign was how se­nior ra­dio col­leagues in Lon­don seemed so ill-in­formed about the po­lit­i­cal cli­mate in Scot­land.

It was only as the polls nar­rowed that the topic was prop­erly dis­cussed at the UK Ra­dio Board and, as I joined the meet­ing via a video con­fer­ence from In­ver­ness, I felt like shout­ing :“So, now you’re in­ter­ested!”

But af­ter a clash be­tween Nick Robin­son and Alex Salmond at a press con­fer­ence, Yessers marched on the BBC HQ in Glas­gow. Or­gan­is­ers de­scribed the event as good-na­tured and joy­ous. Those in­side the build­ing felt less joy­ous about it. It was not quite pitch­forks and flam­ing torches, but it was not the day to nip out for a sand­wich. I have of­ten won­dered about the tim­ing of that protest and whether it did more harm than good for the Yes cam­paign.

Ac­tual trust lev­els in the BBC were still higher than for any other me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tion. If you needed a good slice of those BBC-be­liev­ers to be­come Yes vot­ers, I don’t think a march on our stu­dios – tele­vised on our own news pro­grammes, as well as on CNN and Rus­sia To­day – was the way to con­vince them. But what do I know?

Protest at BBC HQ in 2014

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