stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland

The missing half of the equation 202

Posted on October 18, 2017 by

Readers will doubtless be startled to hear that today’s Scottish newspapers have taken a somewhat misleading approach to the facts on one of the day’s big stories.

Several of them report the findings of a commission looking into the idea of a Citizen’s (or Universal) Basic Income, a scheme which pays every adult in the country a fixed sum every year regardless of their own income, almost completely replacing the current benefits system.

(We’ll use Universal/UBI, to avoid confusion with the greedy-businessman trade body.)

The idea is that as well as reducing poverty, the administrative costs of social security are massively reduced, as is the problem of vulnerable people not taking up benefits because of the stigma often attached to them by the press.

The downside is that it’s generally more expensive. But have the Scottish press accurately reported the scale of that cost, or have they massively exaggerated it for shock value and to serve a right-wing agenda? Read on for a surprise!

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Watching different games 420

Posted on October 11, 2017 by

This was Jamie Ross of Buzzfeed at the SNP conference yesterday.

But not everyone was having the same experience.

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The papier-mache press 108

Posted on September 28, 2017 by

As readers who were once children will probably recall, papier-mache is a substance in which incredibly flimsy material – such as tissue paper or newspaper – is turned into something rather more hard and durable by dint of combining multiple layers of it with a simple flour-and-water solution.

What’s less well-known is that the process also happens IN newspapers.

For a case study, let’s look at this article in today’s Times.

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Nothing like the truth 177

Posted on September 27, 2017 by

The Scottish Daily Mail almost explodes with fury over new crime statistics today:

Which is weird. Because there’s less crime in Scotland than there’s ever been at any time in modern history. How do we know that? Because the Mail tells us so.

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The two types of oil 306

Posted on August 20, 2017 by

With this year’s GERS figures imminent, there are two stories about North Sea oil in today’s papers which are markedly different in both tone and honesty.

This, for example, is the front page of the Sunday Herald:

It’s basically a reprise of a Wings story from almost a year ago, noting that despite producing broadly similar amounts of oil to Scotland from the North Sea, Norway has generated tens of billions in pounds in government revenue from it – even during the price slump of recent years – while Scotland has actually LOST money.

The Sunday Times, though, has a rather different take.

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The Vanishings 133

Posted on August 09, 2017 by

The Scottish media this week has started to rather resemble Argentina under General Galtieri’s military junta – everywhere you look are the ghosts of the disappeared.

We’ve already documented at length the sudden non-existence of the Herald’s madly inaccurate front-page lead story from Monday (along with the corresponding piece in the Evening Times). And today two more things joined the missing list.

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A series of coincidences 106

Posted on August 07, 2017 by

Earlier today we reported on the mysterious failure of the Herald to notice that its front page lead story about supposedly poor ScotRail punctuality figures made a number of serious errors with regard to the facts, most notably confusing the excellent figures for last month with a 12-month rolling average which was significantly worse.

But as we read the rest of the papers, we noticed the oddest thing.

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Newspaper misses accuracy targets 95

Posted on August 07, 2017 by

This is the front-page lead on today’s Herald.

Let’s fact-check that, shall we?

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All the way down 201

Posted on August 03, 2017 by

Today’s edition of The Times contains a textbook example of a phenomenon that we highlight regularly: how newspapers gradually unpick their own dishonest headlines to grudgingly admit a truth which is often the polar opposite of the initial claim.

Or as we more punchily tend to put it, “The Headline Is Always A Lie”.

This won’t take long.

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The bad losers 322

Posted on August 02, 2017 by

The BBC’s Reporting Scotland is, in our view, directly responsible for at least 80% of Yes supporters’ belief that the UK’s state broadcaster is biased against independence. Almost all of the worst examples of unbalanced or downright dishonest coverage over the last five years come from the flagship teatime bulletin.

But last night’s edition made even the most wearily cynical jaws drop.

Let’s just take that in for a moment.

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Choco ration soars again 169

Posted on August 01, 2017 by

There’s been some breaking news.

Or rather, there hasn’t.

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The delusion of hubris 307

Posted on July 22, 2017 by

Today’s Daily Record covers the story we mentioned yesterday about a report from a Scottish Labour campaign group making the pretty factually-uncontestable point that the branch office’s dismal strategy in last month’s election held the UK party back.

And it made the Record really angry.

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