Two days ago we blogged about some disproportionate BBC coverage given to serial raptor persecution denier, Doug McAdam, CEO of Scottish Land and Estates (see here).
The BBC article in question was about the publication of a new SNH-funded report detailing the recovery prospects for golden eagles in south Scotland (currently clinging on by their talons).
We felt that the article was biased as McAdam was given much more space than the other contributors, and we also objected to at least one of McAdam’s statements in which he tried to downplay the effect of illegal persecution by suggesting it was an historical issue and that the latest government figures show a ‘significant’ decline – which is, as McAdam well knows, patently untrue.
We encouraged blog readers to complain to the BBC and thanks to all of you that did (we reckon, from our site stats, that over 40 of you made the effort). The BBC has now responded:
Thank you for your contact. Your comments were passed to the Editor of News Online Scotland, who has asked that we forward his response as follows:
“Thank you for being in touch about the article called: Golden eagles ‘can return to south of Scotland’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-28320168
Our Environment Correspondent, David Miller, highlighted that a Scottish Natural Heritage report indicated the south of Scotland could once again become a stronghold for golden eagles. He included the views of Prof Des Thompson of Scottish Natural Heritage; Paul Wheelhouse MSP, The Minister for Environment and Climate Change; Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s Head of Investigations and Douglas McAdam, Chief Executive of Scottish Land and Estates.
During our routine and ongoing review of articles published, we felt that there were too many quotes from Mr McAdam. As a result, we decided to modify his contribution to the piece. Overall, I am happy that we have reported this story in a fair and balanced way.
Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us.”
So, some success at least, although the modifications that were made did not include the removal of the ‘significant decline’ quote.
Wonder if the PAW Scotland committee members will be having a quiet word with McAdam about the importance of not mis-representing PAW Scotland persecution data….