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Professor: BBC's Anti-Scottish Independence Bias Increases as Vote Draws Closer

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Scotland on the Eve of Independence Referendum (210)
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BBC's anti-Scottish independence bias has increased, John Robertson, a Professor in Media Studies at the University of the West of Scotland told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

GLASGOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – BBC's anti-Scottish independence bias has increased, John Robertson, a Professor in Media Studies at the University of the West of Scotland told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

"My research indicates that our public broadcaster, funded as much by Yes as by No voters, has betrayed its charter on impartiality," Robertson said.

In January Prof. Robertson published the results of a year-long study of BBC political coverage and discovered that the British state broadcaster had, in its reporting, favored the No campaign by a ratio of 3 to 2.

Last week the academic applied the same methodology he had previously to a one-day sample of coverage by the BBC following the visit of all three UK party leaders to Scotland and an international media conference hosted by the pro-independence leader Alex Salmond.

"I applied the same research methods I had used before to measure objectively how fair the coverage had been," Prof. Robertson told RIA Novosti.

"Looking first at the total number of statements by presenters, politicians, business people and citizens supportive of the No campaign I then contrasted that with supporting statements for Yes and found the ratio of slightly more than 2 to 1 is more biased in favor of No than I had found in February," Prof. Robertson said.

"In February I had also found a tendency for anti-Yes statements to precede pro-Yes statements forcing the latter onto the defensive," Robertson added.

"This time in only one of six identifiable blocks of discourse did pro-Yes statements precede pro-No statements. This clearly presents the No argument as somehow "normal" and requires the Yes argument to justify itself," Prof. Robertson told RIA Novosti.

The long-standing issue of the Scottish independence is to be settled by a referendum scheduled for September 18, when voters will be invited to answer a yes/no question that reads: "Should Scotland become an independent country?"

If the majority of Scots vote for independence, then on March 24, 2016 Scotland will secede from the United Kingdom.

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Scotland on the Eve of Independence Referendum (210)
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mass media, independence referendum, BBC, Scotland
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