So on the back of my previous blog ‘Why are the SNP not officially rebutting the Scottish media?’ post which seems to have created much discussion, I felt it right to discuss what my proposition would be regards how the SNP tackle the mainstream media bias in Scotland.
I’m sure, this article will create discussion too, but that’s what both of these are meant to do, get us talking, get us involved and get us to help the SNP move forward.
If you read the comments in my previous blog post, some people were not aware the SNP issues press releases so often – reinforcing my point of the whole article – an apparent lack of any rebuttals.
Not necessarily because there are none, but because they are not reaching the people. The press releases are futile, they are ignored which means they are ineffective. The ‘Yes’ voters see them, but it’s not the ‘Yes’ people that need to see them. Sure the ‘Yes’ people re-post them but how effective is this?
So what could the SNP do and how can we all help?
Firstly, the ‘Yes’ movement must keep doing exactly what they are. You all do a fantastic job on social media of exposing the bias. I have been on twitter for only 5 weeks and I see it every day. It’s exciting and revealing but social media disproportionately targets younger voters, many of whom are already ‘Yes’ voters, or soft No voters!
But the issue is not what the ‘Yes’ movement needs to do, it’s what the SNP and Scottish Government could do.
Firstly, their online presence needs to increase, and increase dramatically. Not their individual MSP’s or MP’s, but their ability to reach a wider online audience.
Secondly they must publically challenge the media in Scotland in a manner that forces the media to acknowledge it.
And lastly, they must reach out to the people and garnish support for a separate national broadcaster. Now I know you will all say ‘but this is reserved’ and you will be right, but the matter of challenging this officially is not reserved.
So let me break the three points down a bit further.
Firstly, for the SNP to increase their online identity, they must appeal to a larger group of people, not just ‘Yes’ people. They must appeal to the ‘soft’ No’s, and people who vote for other political parties. Now I know this will be a difficult nut to crack because the SNP are the type of party that you either generally like or dislike, but what they do policy wise as a political party is good enough to be copied, so they are not that far out of reach of other voters.
Many of us (myself) included make monthly payments to the SNP. They already have a revenue stream that could be utilised. Can they not use some of this to increase their online footprint?
We are all used to the slogan ‘SNP BAD’, so why not use this? Why do the SNP not use this ‘SNP BAD’ slogan against the media? Why do they not turn it on its head and use it through humour? Using the SNP BAD slogan officially would, in my opinion, further expose the media bias and bring an element of individuality to their cause that no other party utilises effectively.
My second point about publically challenging the media bias in a way that forces them to acknowledge it officially comes back to officially lodging complaints against the media, and then releasing that information into the public domain. This could tie back into point number one. Maybe they already do this but i do not see it. Maybe others do though?
Anyway, we have all seen how effective this is when others do it. If the SNP are not doing this, what is stopping them doing it?
And lastly, the point about broadcasting is more of a challenge but I hope you see what I am trying to get at in what I suggest.
Broadcasting is reserved. We all know that. The BBC will always be there as will STV et al, however, there is no problem with the Scottish Government officially requesting that they be allowed to set up a national broadcaster.
By announcing this request it would do two things. Firstly it would help people see that Scotland wants to be independent in media, and secondly it would likely be declined. People would then question why are they declining it?
The Scottish Government could create issues about this. They could put pressure on Westminster to allow them to set up a Scottish broadcaster that is funded by Scottish taxpayer and owned by the public. This need only be raised and declined to make people see the control over the media in Scotland.
What I suggest above is really only what comes to mind as I write this blog post, and I am sure many of you have issues against it or are maybe for it (or parts). The point is, we must talk about it because there is an ‘apparent lack of any rebuttal’ from the SNP when they are abused incessantly by the media in Scotland. This is because they are not reaching enough people and they are not raising the awareness of the media bias with people who do not follow the SNP. Independence supporters are, in the main, doing it for them.
The desire, I believe, is there in Scotland to have its own broadcaster and have the SNP stand up against the media, it’s just how that’s achieved in the wider context of Scotland that is the issue worth discussing.
In an Independent Scotland we would probably have our own broadcaster – why not start acting like it and challenge the UK Government to allow it?
Brexit is taking up all the time of the UK Government, maybe now is the time to ask.