Scotland needs own channel, concludes inquiry


Scotland won’t be getting a Scotland-only evening news programme on the BBC, an independent inquiry has said.

Although the Scottish Broadcasting Commission said that UK broadcasters were under serving the Scottish audience, it didn’t support Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, in his demand for Scottish Six, a news bulletin to replace BBC1’s main evening bulletin.

The commission’s chairman, Blair Jenkins, concluded Scotland needs its own publicly funded digital channel which would include news and current affairs.

Jenkins said: “We make it clear that the proposal for a new Scottish Network does not let UK public service broadcasters off the hook, in terms of delivering good services to people in Scotland – what we’re proposing in no way removes that responsibility from them.”

Stuart Cosgrove, head of programming with Channel 4, supports the idea, but questions where the funding would come from, claiming the £75m quoted would not be enough to deliver ‘entirely new content”.

He said: ‘The more general point of the report is also fair, which is that Scotland has not had the investment it should have done in broadcasting from the BBC or Channel 4 and the sector here has under-performed.”

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