is BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship morning news programme.
During the 11th November edition from 6:00am onwards, BBC Radio Scotland ran the following in their half-hourly news summary very prominently
“Over 2 million people in Britain are malnourished. The elderly, poor, socially isolated and chronically sick are particularly vulnerable”
Sounds like a case for higher welfare payments and ‘social inclusion’ – right? Presenter Maihri Stuart interviewed one of the authors of the report that prompted this headline at around 7:50am, clearly of the opinion that this was a poverty issue, and possibly connected with Scotland’s notoriously poor diet.
Oops! As the author of the report pointed out “I should say we are really talking here about the very sick – for those in hospital and in poor health one of the first things that can suffer is a person’s appetite”. The report is a warning to healthcare professionals to watch the diet of their patients, and to watch for sudden weight loss.
Not surprisingly, by the 8:30am news summary the item had disappeared without trace. However, anyone listening between 6:00am and 8:00am will have been misinformed.
For me this was an interesting item because I’ve often suspected BBC journalists take press releases from the fax machine, and never read beyond the first paragraph. Is it bias? Only in as much as shows the instinctive, almost knee jerk reaction to any story, and the angle they use to present it.