Being the media that we need (2022)

The veteran BBC presenter Andrew Marr has spoken out against Scottish independence, claiming that it would be “rotten” for ordinary working people and would cause an “angry, rancorous” separation from the rest of the UK. If you are at all surprised that one of the BBC’s former senior political editors was a dyed in the wool unionist who parrots the tropes of the British nationalist parties, just wait until you find out that the Pope believes in god and that bright orange is not actually Donald Trump’s natural skin colour.

Of course Marr is a unionist. The BBC, where he had a very long and successful career, is an institutionally British nationalist organisation which thinks it is not political to force feed us a diet of royalist sycophancy and whose idea of balance when the topic of Scottish independence is being discussed is to have one person from the SNP against one each from the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems, and that SNP representative is all too often not physically present, but appearing via a shonky video link from Dundee, a city which according to an infamous edition of Question Time broadcast from the city, is predominantly inhabited by Brexit supporting Tories with posh English accents.

For the BBC framing the independence debate in this way achieves a number of anti-independence goals while still allowing the BBC to claim that it is unbiased. By featuring representatives from the four main parties it ensures that pro-independence voices are outnumbered three to one in what is essentially a binary debate. It also frames the debate as a party political debate and not as a Scottish national debate. It identifies the cause of independence as the cause of the SNP, while portraying opposition to independence as a cross-party cause. This plays into the British nationalist narrative of the issue of independence being divisive, and encourages the mistaken belief that support for independence equates to support for the SNP. It conveniently sidelines and marginalises those in Scotland who believe in independence but who for one reason or another do not support the SNP.

The BBC is very much aware of itself as the last major publicly owned British institution, after the Conservative privatisations of the 1980s and 1990s, apart from the Westminster Parliament itself the BBC is one third of the unholy trinity of the armed services and the monarchy which are the only institutional forces that remain to create and foster a sense of a British identity. You are not going to have the career that Marr had at the BBC if you do not fully subscribe to the British nationalism which infuses and defines the Corporation.

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This is not Marr’s first intervention on the side of opposition to independence. In2013, during the run up to the first referendum in 2014, Marr told an audience at the Edinburgh Book Festival that he was very worried by the “tone” of the Scottish independence debate, claiming that it was defined by a toxic anglophobia, saying : “There is very strong anti-English feeling and everybody knows it, there always has been.” All this told us, other than Marr’s instinctive British nationalism, is that his understanding of the Scottish independence debate is mired in the 1970s. Judging from his most recent comments, that is pretty much still where it remains. Admittedly there has been some progress of sorts. Marr admits that he understands the anger and frustration that so many people in Scotland feel, saying : “I do get that people in Scotland are outraged. Nobody here voted for Boris Johnson or for Dominic Raab or Liz Truss, or that lot. You didn’t vote for Brexit. So things have been imposed on Scotland and I can absolutely understand the annoyance.”

However he remains unconvinced by the case for independence so essentially he is giving Scotland the exact same message as the arrogantly patrician Conservative Governor General Alister Jack, it doesn’t really matter if Scotland doesn’t like what the Conservatives are imposing on it, you can suck it up.

Back in 2013 when Marr made his remarks about Scotland’s supposedly toxic anglophobia, many people in Scotland were still prepared to give the BBC and the British media in general the benefit of the doubt and hope that they would treat the Scottish independence debate impartially and fairly. Those hopes were well and truly smashed during the 2014 campaign and by everything that has happened since.

It is now beyond any doubt that the BBC will not be an impartial observer of and reporter on the independence campaign in this second referendum which lies ahead but rather, along with the explicitly anti-independence print media, it will be an active and enthusiastic participant in the independence campaign on the anti-independence side. The BBC is going to behave in this second campaign exactly as it behaved the first time around. It is clear that it has already dusted off the BBC British nationalist playbook from 2014. Following the publication of the first in the Scottish government’s series of papers making a fresh case for an independent Scotland, the BBC has focused almost exclusively on the lawfulness of another referendum should Johnson withhold a Section 30 order. It has paid very little attention to the substance of the paper, comparing Scotland’s performance as a part of the UK with that of a range of similar Northern European nations, a comparison which proves that Westminster is holding Scotland back and preventing it from achieving its full potential. The agenda of the BBC in response to the publication of the paper is very much that of the anti-independence parties.

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What the BBC has carefully avoided is any discussion of what it would mean for the character and nature of this supposed union and for democracy in Scotland if the anti-independence parties resort to the courts or to appeals to Boris Johnson in order to veto the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine for themselves the form of government best suited to their needs.

The BBC is not a reporter on Scotland’s constitutional debate but a participant in it. An organisation whose charter dictates that its role is to “contribute to the social cohesion and well being of the United Kingdom” is institutionally incapable of reporting objectively and fairly on a debate in which a part of the United Kingdom weighs up whether it wishes to continue being a part of the United Kingdom.

As we enter a second independence referendum campaign it is vital that the independence movement develops and builds upon its alternative means of reaching out to the people of this country. The British nationalists will not be as complacent this time around as they were in the early stages of the 2014 campaign. This time they know that they could lose, and they know that they have destroyed most of their strongest arguments and claims from the first referendum campaign. Our job is to make sure that the people of Scotland know it too. We need to be our own media, the media that we need. As yer maw always telt ye, if ye want something done, ye need tae dae it yersel.

I am currently running the annual crowdfunder to allow me to keep blogging and to earn the equivalent of the minimum wage. Please click the following link to donate directly to the crowdfunder. The crowdfunder has gone extremely well and I’d like to give my immense thanks to everyone who has contributed. The initial target has now been met, which is a huge relief as next month we have to pay over £5000 in lawyer’s fees and Home Office fees in order to renew my husband’s visa. It is heartening to know that people value the work that I do and wish to support it. The link to the crowdfunder page will remain active for the rest of this week and I will give a final report on how it has gone at the end of this week.

(Video) Why we need to be honest on social media | Olivia Vandyk | TEDxChelmsford

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Being the media that we need (1)
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FAQs

What is the importance of media in our society? ›

Purpose of Media

The purpose of a media is to give information about current news, gossips, Fashion, and the latest gadgets in the marketplace of the people. The role of a media has to be one way trading and marketing of products, and prejudices. It gives geographical knowledge about how people divided.

Why do we need the media? ›

It gets your message across to a wider audience.

The various forms of media – primarily television, newspapers and radio – spread and disseminate information. Getting your information into the media will spread your group's story further than it could be spread without media coverage.

How does the media influence our personal lifestyle choices? ›

Social media and other media can influence the decisions that teenagers make about their health and lifestyle. For example, media messages and content can make it look 'normal', cool or grown-up to eat junk food, smoke, drink alcohol and take other drugs.

What is the importance of media essay? ›

Gives us immense knowledge & transmits information – Media keeps us informed about various happening around the world. It lets us know what is happening around us and all over the world. With the help of media, we get immense knowledge on various subjects. Media plays a vital role in the dissemination of information.

What do you think is the importance of media in your life as a student? ›

The role of social media in education plays an important role in the student's lives. With the help of social media, students can get information, can fetch or retrieve information easily, and can communicate with their teachers, friends, and classmates easily.

How social media has influence you in your life? ›

Social media can enhance people's life satisfaction through the benefits of increased social capital, perceived social support or increased self-esteem, etc. (Best et al., 2014), while its detrimental effects may be depression, social anxiety, jealousy, etc. (Best et al., 2014).

How does social media affect people's behavior? ›

However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance.

Does media have a positive impact on society? ›

The truth is that social media can also be beneficial for society. It can help individuals connect and deepen their relationships. Social media also encourages students to learn and grow. And it can empower businesses to build their audiences and boost their bottom line.

What is the power of media? ›

It simply means that media has a power to give information and provide an easy means of communication especially in long distance were people will able to contact quickly to each other. The influence of media has become so powerful today because it can easily influence people positively and or negatively .

How does media influence and affect your daily life as a student? ›

It is easy to become addicted, and research shows that students who spend too much time on social media can suffer from poor sleep, eye fatigue, negative body image, depression, anxiety, cyberbullying, and more.

In what way can media influence people's thoughts and actions? ›

The influence of mass media has an effect on many aspects of human life, which can include voting a certain way, individual views and beliefs, or skewing a person's knowledge of a specific topic due to being provided false information.

How has social media improve people's lives for the better? ›

Social media has made it possible to get an inside perspective with very little effort. In addition to getting a birds-eye view of other places, the live feed feature of social media has also broken down barriers and made it possible to virtually attend events around the globe.

How media affect change in society nowadays? ›

The media can manipulate, influence, persuade and pressurise society, along with even controlling the world at times in both positive and negative ways; mentally, physically and emotionally. Controversial stories are reported and printed with no reliance of it being fact or not.

How social media influences people's thinking and views? ›

While social media, used wisely, can be a viable source of news and information, multiple studies show that it can also be bad for our thinking. It subtly warps our perceptions and reasoning, and can lead to errors in judgment like Favreau's.

How social media has affected our lives essay? ›

However, social media comes with benefits. Also, it causes too many problems in our lives. Social media has changed our ways of communication, relationships, and affected everyone's life.
...
Effects of Social Media on Everyday Life.
✅ Paper Type: Free Essay✅ Subject: Media
✅ Wordcount: 1076 words✅ Published: 18th May 2020
May 18, 2020

How do media influence my values? ›

As to beliefs, mass media changes our ways of thinking and living, it also promotes the transformation of personality and the formation of new beliefs through the supervision of education, dissemination of knowledge and other ways. It has positive influence.

Is social media helpful or harmful? ›

Although there are important benefits, social media can also provide platforms for bullying and exclusion, unrealistic expectations about body image and sources of popularity, normalization of risk-taking behaviors, and can be detrimental to mental health.

What is the power of media essay? ›

The media can give us information to tell us what a product, service or message is. In fact, media influence has become so powerful today that they can easily influence people positively and/or negatively. We also live in a society that depends on the media as a source of entertainment and information.

How can social media affect your personal lifestyle choices positively? ›

Some of the benefits of social media are: Having a platform to showcase technological savvy and creativity. Increased self-confidence by empowering introverts to express their ideas. The ability to create lifelong friends.

How does the media influence personal and social identity? ›

Social media enables identity expression, exploration, and experimentation; something natural for the human experience. It is the agencies in real life, which provide a source of names for different sectors, that inspire the internet communities and the interactions they make within themselves.

How social media factors can impact positively on one's lifestyle choices? ›

7 Positive Effects Social Media Is Having on Society
  • Social Media Makes It Easier to Make Friends. ...
  • Social Media Fosters Empathy. ...
  • Social Media Allows for Speedy Communication. ...
  • Social Media Makes the World Seem Smaller. ...
  • Social Media Helps You Build Relationships. ...
  • Social Media Helps News Travel Faster.
Jun 30, 2022

How social media has affected our lives essay? ›

However, social media comes with benefits. Also, it causes too many problems in our lives. Social media has changed our ways of communication, relationships, and affected everyone's life.
...
Effects of Social Media on Everyday Life.
✅ Paper Type: Free Essay✅ Subject: Media
✅ Wordcount: 1076 words✅ Published: 18th May 2020
May 18, 2020

How media affect change in society nowadays? ›

The media can manipulate, influence, persuade and pressurise society, along with even controlling the world at times in both positive and negative ways; mentally, physically and emotionally. Controversial stories are reported and printed with no reliance of it being fact or not.

Does social media have a positive or negative influence on youth today? ›

Social media harms

Another 2019 study of more than 12,000 13- to 16-year-olds in England found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens. Other studies also have observed links between high levels of social media use and depression or anxiety symptoms.

How do media influence my values? ›

As to beliefs, mass media changes our ways of thinking and living, it also promotes the transformation of personality and the formation of new beliefs through the supervision of education, dissemination of knowledge and other ways. It has positive influence.

How has media shaped our society? ›

The negative effects of mass media on society can lead people towards poverty, crime, nudity, violence, bad mental and physical health disorders and others as such severe outcomes. For example, mob hitting innocents by getting carried away from the rumors spread on the internet has been common.

How does media affect individual identity? ›

It has been suggested that in the early adolescent years, when perceptions about self and identity are being formed, individuals may be influenced by the media to feel certain ways about their bodies based on the ideal body types expressed and perpetuated in the media, which may increase body surveillance behaviors and ...

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media? ›

Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media
Pros of Social MediaCons of Social Media
Social Media Can Reach Large AudiencesSocial Media Causes Sleep Issues
Government Benefits from Social MediaSocial Media Cause Depression and Loneliness
Entertainment with Social MediaSocial Media Causes Distraction
7 more rows

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