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Archive for the ‘media’


The new lie 678

Posted on January 18, 2017 by

Alert readers may recall as far back as July of last year, when we highlighted an odd thing that Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale had started saying.

kazmajority

Regardless of the fact that it was total hooey, Dugdale repeated it every chance she got, and the inevitable Scottish-media consequences have duly followed.

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The competition 156

Posted on January 17, 2017 by

You very rarely get useful stats about online newspaper readership, so we were quite intrigued by this snippet on tonight’s BBC2 Scotland documentary “Paper Thistle”, about the 200th anniversary of The Scotsman.

We don’t know what the numbers are or how brief the period was, but Wings’ average traffic is higher now than it was in 2014, while we suspect The Scotsman is moving in the opposite direction. For a single-issue website to be anywhere even in the same ballpark as a two-centuries-old broadsheet news brand with scores of full-time writers and production staff and a daily newsstand presence is a remarkable thing indeed.

We might start doing classifieds and sport just to see what happens.

The flexibility of figures 571

Posted on January 15, 2017 by

It’s a well-known fact, of course, that 87% of all statistics are made up. But as this site regularly observes, if you’re the Scottish opposition and media there’s no need to invent fake ones when you can twist the real ones to present an image completely at odds with the reality.

The Sunday Times today has some fine examples of the craft of massaging figures for the purposes of deception. It carries two separate scare stories on the NHS, both of them using figures which aren’t based on any sort of news, but on opposition spin on existing stats. One comes from the Tories, under a dramatic headline:

privatenhs

The banner is pulling a classic trick – the £685m figure is actually the total sum spent in a decade, not the single year that most people would assume (since there’s no good reason to measure spending in decades, so headlines usually don’t do it). But remarkably it’s just about the most honest thing in the paper’s health coverage today.

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It’s not always the headline 85

Posted on January 15, 2017 by

While normally the Unionist media deploys the ever-reliable blunt sledgehammer in its tireless war against Scotland controlling its own affairs, it’s also occasionally capable of more subtlety, slipping in a sneaky stiletto of a lie in passing. Take this piece from today’s Mail On Sunday:

reserves

The thing is, that’s not how currency reserves work.

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The Great Urging 593

Posted on January 10, 2017 by

As we’ve always understood it, readers, the definition of “news” is supposed to be “a new thing which has happened that people didn’t previously know about”.

brokenrec

Evidently the rules have changed since we were young cub reporters.

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Hypocrisy, actually 204

Posted on January 04, 2017 by

We weren’t going to dignify the utterly absurd media stushie over a tweet by Glasgow MSP John Mason yesterday with any coverage because it was too cretinous to even bear thinking about, but this from today’s Daily Record was just too good.

timdawn

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Here it comes again 468

Posted on January 02, 2017 by

It might only be the 2nd of January, but it’s already pretty clear what we should expect from Scottish politics and the Scottish media in 2017.

Yesterday saw an absurdly petty response from Scottish Labour to the SNP’s “baby box” initiative, sourly carping at a dirt-cheap measure with a proven record of reducing infant mortality and providing vital help to the poor.

Today’s Herald, meanwhile, leads on a meaningless story about people being opposed to having a second independence referendum in 2017 – something nobody has proposed and which has no prospect of happening barring wildly unforseeable events.

hpindypoll

But compared to the inside, that’s hard news.

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It’s not them, it’s you 302

Posted on December 28, 2016 by

The National has an interesting-sounding front page lead story today.

natbbc

Donalda MacKinnon’s immediate predecessor Ken McQuarrie has been a hostile and toxic presence at the top of BBC Scotland for many years now, so we were naturally intrigued to hear if a change of heart at the Corporation was on the horizon.

We didn’t build our hopes up, obviously.

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Cops and cobblers 244

Posted on December 26, 2016 by

While its pages are mostly filled with toadying drivel about the Royal Family, today’s Scottish Daily Mail does manage to squeeze in a bit of supposed politics news.

3kpolice

We say “supposed” because as alert readers may have already suspected, the story quickly disintegrates under inspection. The figure of 3000 police officers leaving the force since it became Police Scotland (buffed up with a hysterical editorial on page 14 talking about the “truly alarming scale of the mass exodus”) is presented without any context as to whether this is a higher number than one would normally expect.

And sure enough, a few paragraphs in we find out that the vast majority have quit after 20 to 30 years of service, which is entirely normal – the article notes that “most officers retire in their late forties or early fifties”.

The line that caught our eye, though, was this:

“Last night, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: ‘Officers seem to be leaving Police Scotland in their droves.'”

Last night? You mean on Christmas Day Ruth Davidson had nothing better to do with her life than offer vacuous quotes to justify meaningless non-stories in the Daily Mail? For the love of God, someone get the poor woman a Netflix subscription.

News just in 134

Posted on December 19, 2016 by

This is a picture of the Sun, which reports confirm became visible in the skies above parts of the Northern Hemisphere earlier today.

sunclouds

A similar event is widely expected to take place around the same time tomorrow.

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In your free and fair press today 246

Posted on December 16, 2016 by

Let’s have a quick round-up, shall we?

budgetmail

This is a lie. There are in fact no “tax hikes” in the budget at all. The threshold for the higher rate of tax is increasing with inflation, ie in real terms it’s staying the same as it is now. Councils are being ALLOWED to raise Council Tax but not FORCED to.

But the Mail lying is a reflex action. What about the rest?

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All news is bad news 339

Posted on December 14, 2016 by

Figures released yesterday indicated that the number of full-time teachers employed in Scotland had risen by 253 over the past year, despite budget cuts imposed by the UK government’s austerity programme. This obviously presented the Scottish media with a dilemma: how could such statistics be presented as an “SNP BAD” story?

Luckily, we’re dealing with experienced professionals here.

teachernumbers

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