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Wings Over Scotland

The corkscrew 106

Posted on June 06, 2016 by

Alert readers may have noticed that we tend to slack off a bit at the weekend these days. There’s no point burning ourselves out with busywork at a time when there’s not very much going on in Scottish politics (certainly not in terms of independence, at any rate), and weekend traffic is always lower anyway.

So we’ve only just now got round to taking a proper look at something the online Yoon community and punditariat was getting itself very excited about on Saturday.


And it’s a fascinating piece of work.

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The taxonomy of lies 246

Posted on May 18, 2016 by

For much of its life, this site has been warning readers that, as their default position, they should always assume newspaper headlines are a lie until proven otherwise.


Today, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper admitted it in public.

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Call The Midwife 124

Posted on April 10, 2016 by

The Scottish press and opposition’s incandescent and somewhat vague fury at the Scottish Government working to bring billions of pounds in investment to Scotland has continued undiminished in this weekend’s newspapers. Scottish Labour in particular are getting themselves very worked up about today’s Sunday Times.


“Incredible”? Sounds exciting. Let’s find out more.

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The murder of words 140

Posted on March 16, 2016 by

This headline appears in The Times today:


It’s an absolute lie. But that’s not the interesting thing.

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The trick is to keep reading 74

Posted on December 13, 2015 by

We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve drawn people’s attention to the necessity of sticking with newspaper articles right to the end if you don’t want to be horribly misled by eye-catching headlines. But it never hurts to have another example.


If you only read the start of today’s Scottish Mail On Sunday “bombshell” on the Forth Road Bridge (the left side of the picture above), you might come to a very alarming conclusion. But if you get all the way through it, to the paragraphs we’ve highlighted in red and enlarged on the right-hand side of the image, you’ll discover the truth.

Your half and their half 85

Posted on September 15, 2015 by

There’s been a veritable flurry of polls commissioned to mark the impending one-year anniversary of the independence referendum. In the last 48 hours alone we’ve seen ones from Survation, YouGov and Panelbase, making a variety of interesting findings. As ever, though, the trick is in the interpretation.

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Threats and menaces 145

Posted on August 13, 2014 by

With the referendum now just five weeks away and most of the polls still uncomfortably close, there’s an increasing sense of urgency and lack of subtlety about the No camp and media’s scaremongering.

Yesterday the Scottish media covered the award of a Royal Navy shipbuilding contract to BAE Systems in unequivocally political terms. “Promise of £348m shipyard contract for No vote”, blared the Scotsman, while the Scottish Sun’s front page went with “3 ships deal ‘if No vote’”. (The English edition was the rather more loquacious “Scots will land £348m Royal Navy contract – if they stay in the UK”.)

Yet the text of the articles told a radically different story.

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As casual as you like 307

Posted on July 04, 2014 by

Today’s Scottish Daily Express:


We’ve added the red lines.

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Voting No will give you cancer 141

Posted on July 03, 2014 by

Voting No WON’T give you cancer at all, of course. (Although with the English NHS now privatising cancer care, with the likely knock-on effects on Scottish NHS funding, you’d better hope even harder that you don’t get it.)

The title on this article is in fact completely unrelated to the text you’re about to read, much like Torcuil Crichton’s column in today’s Daily Record.


Let’s take a look.

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Good faith and bad practice 160

Posted on June 20, 2014 by

The other day we highlighted a really good piece in the Scottish Sun, which while not perfect was a pretty decent stab at the sort of evidence-based journalism Scotland’s media should have been doing throughout the referendum campaign.


Today, not so much.

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The inadequate tide 69

Posted on June 07, 2014 by

This is a story in today’s Scottish Daily Express:


Now that’s what we call some rapid inflation.

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A joke and a lie 127

Posted on May 22, 2014 by

Last night, in our 10pm “And finally” comedy slot, we ran a picture of a Labour election leaflet we’d slightly altered in order to make a joke about the party’s well-documented historic predilection for postal-vote electoral fraud. Readers can form their own view about whether the gag was funny or not, but it was at least clearly flagged as an “And finally” and we also pointed out that the pic was a fake in the comments.


We’ve been searching this morning’s Scotsman for a similar disclaimer regarding its front-page headline, but as yet we’re not having a lot of luck locating it.

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