More national and regional News on BBC Networks ( re-posted)

I‘m re-posting this because of technical problems with links in the earlier version. Many apologies.

Do you feel the BBC in London have forgotten all about Northern Ireland now that the Troubles are over? That an “ordinary” murder in NI doesn’t get the same coverage as a stabbing in England? The BBC Trust, the corporation’s regulator, may well agree with you. In a recent review of UK-wide coverage, the Trust has made a “must do better” order to London newsdesks to improve reporting from the Nations ( the wee ones, that means) and ( English) Regions

The review applies to Scotland and Wales too of course, which never had our baleful attractions for the networks. You may also have wondered why in the past few days BBC network News has covered stories like £150 for Dundonians to give up the cigs

Or news of today’s launch of a spanking new children’s channel for Welsh speakers (don’t tell Gregory Campbell)
Now you know why we’re hearing stories like these and can expect more.

As a former BBC editor I have a lot of sympathy with the newsdesks. Official information on a UK wide basis just isn’t collated for all sorts of important themes That’s why you hear so many references to “England and Wales”, or just “England” in stories about crime, education and health. This yawning gap is something Whitehall is belatedly addressing with the devolved governments. I also have deep doubts that the demand for more reporting from the Nations and Regions is as great as the BBC Trust claims it is; it’s more the sort of right-on answer people give in surveys. However no doubt it’s a worthy, nation-building cause.
If you still feel left out of all this newfound BBC prominence, you know you who to complain to – and it aint Slugger.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • PeaceandJustice

    If BBC NI spent less time and money promoting the terrorist linked GAA, maybe they could make more of a contribution to the UK network.

  • Harry Flashman

    Brian Walker? Not THE Brian Walker, legendary BBC reporter for BBC Northern Ireland in the 1970’s?

    Jeez Brian, nice to hear from you, I got your autograph when I was nine years old and you were doing a Nationwide special one evening from Gobnascale in Derry; one of my heroes along with WD Flackes, Barry Cowan, Norman Stockton, David Capper, etc. they don’t make journos like them anymore I can tell you.

    Ah memories memories, grim 1970’s evenings gathered around the black and white tv to see what the latest carnage was on Scene Around Six.

  • Brian Walker

    Harry- the very same and nice to be appreciated after many years away in England.

  • “If you still feel left out”

    Brian, the people of Rathlin Island must feel left out by Belfast when it comes to coverage of the Rathlin ferry operator story. Just because Ian Paisley jnr barely rates a mention …

  • Robbie

    Not sure. BBC Norn Iron news still makes the pages and coverage in Britain, though always in its former constitutional incarnation.

    More serious is the problem of BBC Northern Ireland drama and independent programming. In the 1980s and through the 1990s, great drama like Graham Reid’s the Billy Plays with Jimmy Ellis and Brannagh were critically acclaimed and got 6 million plus viewers. The standard now is so inept, so lacking in quality that it neither wins critical nor public approval. Probably connected to the recent drive to avoid the Troubles at all costs. A lot of great writers here have been marginalized from this narrative, a great shame.

  • Dewi

    It’s not only the Beeb (at least they are having a go if a bit belatedly). The coverage of the Nations by the London “Quality” press seems to have just disappeared. Not only news – but sport as well.

    Great news about Cyw – precisely the target audience required.

  • I’ve noticed from listening to Radio 4 that there seems to be a concerted effort to touch on the regions somewhere during a report about education, NHS or whetever. Albeit that often its simply as an addendum to a story centred on England whereby they outline the position in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

  • Todd

    Watch RTE then Lads, always does good coverage and even refers to the place as Northern Ireland.

  • willis

    From the report

    The claim that the BBC’s news and current-affairs coverage can be skewed towards London and Westminster and away from other parts of the country is given added weight by the network’s coverage – or, more realistically, its non-coverage – of the decline and fall of Ian Paisley as Northern Ireland’s First Minister. On visits to Northern Ireland during the winter of 2007-2008, the politicians and BBC journalists we


    spoke to frequently drew attention to the precariousness of Dr Paisley’s position. His age was against him, and his son, Ian Paisley Jr., a junior minister in the Northern Ireland government, was in considerable personal difficulties, serious allegations of conflict of interest having been levelled against him (allegations that Mr Paisley dismissed as ‘unfounded’). Not least, Ian Paisley Sr.’s close public relationship with Martin McGuinness – the relationship that caused them to be dubbed the ‘Chuckle Bros.’ – was alienating Dr Paisley from large sections of his own party. People we met in Belfast wondered aloud how long the First Minister could last. If he did not jump, they said, he was in imminent danger of being pushed.

    Ian Paisley’s position was obviously of potential UK-wide significance, possibly of great significance. He was joint architect of the DUP-Sinn Fein agreement that restored devolved government to Northern Ireland, and his personal relationship with the leaders of Northern Ireland republicanism had become, at the very least, stable and serviceable. No one could know for sure to what extent the peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland depended on Dr Paisley’s personal presence and whether the settlement would survive under his successor. In the view of many in Northern Ireland, the peace settlement was considerably more fragile than it appeared to outsiders. They felt compelled to contemplate the possibility that, in the absence of Dr Paisley, violence might flare up again.

    As in the case of the inter-party negotiations in Wales, the BBC network had little to say about any of these developments: not nothing, but very little. The resignation from the Northern Ireland government of Ian Paisley Jr. on 18 February 2008 prompted speculation in Northern Ireland about the political position of his father but, out of the main television and radio bulletins that day, only the 6 p.m. and midnight news bulletins on Radio 4 reported the event in any detail. The younger Paisley’s resignation rated only brief mentions on BBC1’s Six O’Clock News and on Newsnight. It failed to find its way onto the Ten O’Clock News. Apart from a discussion of the resignation’s significance on the Today programme two days later, something approaching total silence then ensued, with the result that viewers and listeners, unless they read one of the broadsheet newspapers, may well have been surprised when the news broke on 4 March that Ian Paisley Sr. was also standing down. The network at this point did come to life, and Dr Paisley’s departure was covered on both of that evening’s main television news bulletins, on Newsnight later in the evening and on the Today programme the next morning. During one of the television bulletins, the BBC’s Ireland correspondent commented in passing that ‘it [Dr Paisley’s resignation] is one of those things we all predicted.’ The BBC network, however, did not predict it. Many of those we spoke to in Northern Ireland wondered why the affairs of Derek Conway’s family at Westminster


    were receiving so much coverage when the potentially more momentous issues surrounding Dr Paisley and his family at Stormont were receiving so little.

    It is worth at least asking whether the network’s relative neglect of significant political developments in two of the UK’s three devolved nations can be justified, especially in view of the massive coverage that the network was giving during the same ten-month period to, for example, the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal and the early stages of the 2008 presidential election in the United States

  • willis


    What is interesting though is that the report says there is more chance of getting a story from the UK’s nations or regions on the main BBC news if it’s funny. Or if it’s about an animal.

    The report found that “stories originating in non-metropolitan England and the devolved nations were far more likely to be covered if they were of the human-interest variety than if they were not”.

    In the eyes of some of the people surveyed, “the BBC seemed to regard London and Westminster as being serious, as being where it was all at, but the rest of the country as being where funny things occasionally happened”.

    For instance, in 2007 the report found that the BBC’s local election coverage did not deal with Wales “in any way, and of 37 BBC stories that dealt with devolved matters during the four weeks analysed [in October-November 2007]….only one related to Wales”.

    “That story related to the potential banning in Wales of the use of electric dog collars,” King’s reported noted.

    The report also says that last year the BBC1 6pm and 10pm news bulletins spent more time covering the fate of Shambo the bovine tuberculosis-infected sacred cow than Labour’s poor performance in the Welsh elections.

  • getthefacts

    How do you check what the BBC are, or are not, reporting on their TV and Radio news bulletins? Apart from sitting down and watching/recording them all yourself!

    I sent an FOI to the BBC some months ago requesting transcripts etc, regarding an issue which I believe they were reporting in an unfair and unbalanced way, but was told that the content of BBC news broadcasts are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

  • Harry Flashman

    “…and even refers to the place as Northern Ireland.”

    Since when?

  • Eddie

    I wish some contributors here would get their priorities right.

    What is important is how and what BBC Northern Ireland reports about events in Northern Ireland to the people of Northern Ireland.

    In addition what BBC “National” reports about events in Northern Ireland which would be of concern, or passing interest to people nationally – any abuse of power, any serious threat to stability of the Executive, that sort of thing, visit of USA president maybe.

    What is not important from this little place of 1.7 million people in a UK of 60 million is the like of Ian Paisley junior’s resignation.

    When are we going to get away from this idea that the ideas of Britain, America, the world are on us, that we are somehow the centre of the universe? Why do some people want matters which are adequately reported by BBC NI to be repeated all over again on the “National” network. We do like to preen ourselves in the mirror, warts and all.

    And while I am ranting, will some people stop this whining about people in Britain not taking our wee Northern Ireland banknotes. Get over it. Any bank will give you Bank of England notes for local notes befoe you go. They’re obliged to. Or maybe some people just want to have their local notes refused so they can be offended? The English don’t give a damn about these wee sensitivities; wise up; wake up.

  • Eddie

    “Get the Facts” (above) should know that the BBC wouldn’t have the resources to supply transcripts – transcripts, no less! – of news broadcasts that he might want to check up on!

    Yes, as he suggests,he should record them himself – there’s plenty of technology out there for him to do that. Or, if he can’t be bothered, there are a few local agencies out there – see the Yellow Pages – who will supply him with any transcript he wants…at a price, of course. It helps to cut down on timewasters.

  • cynic

    Its not just the other parts of the UK that are left out.

    Having lived in London I believe that many of the BBC News staff in London have little concept of or interest in anything outside the M25 unless it is only reached by aircraft (preferably long haul to somewhere warm).

    In part that’s because the Corporation sees its audience as ‘London and the South East’. And why shouldnt it? After all, sadly, all the people who really matter (in BBC terms) live in the South East anyway and they (the real audience) arent interested in the Regions either. Young black lad stabbed in London, big news. Same in say Bolton, well, perhaps not because its not a threat to the people who matter.

    And the sad thing in this is that, with the UKs London centric Government and skewed priorities, its true! The BBC Trust’s exhortations are timely but after a while it will all drift back.

  • getthefacts

    Eddie “It helps to cut down on timewasters.”

    Clearly you do not have much time for the Freedom of Information Act – or is it perhaps that you are employed by the BBC.

    All Public Bodies are subject to the FOI Act, why should the BBC be an exception. The provision of news broadcast transcripts etc should be relatively easy – or do those news readers etc work from memory!

    If ever there was a public body which should be subject to public scrutiny in this way it is the BBC – the single largest discriminator of information in the UK. And, one other minor detail, we the public own it!

  • Brian Walker

    For your information, “the(FOI) Act indeed does not apply to information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output (TV, radio, online etc), or information that supports and is closely associated with these activities” – i.e the News etc. See

    The fundamental reason for this exemption is the BBC’s Royal Charter and Agreement, which protects its freedom from State interference (I admit imperfectly) and lays down the relationship between the two. The Agreement purports to guarantee the BBC’s editorial independence, thus leaving it in charge, more or less, of its own disclosure policy. A Royal Charter has the status of giving the BBC greater independence than other public bodies, and draws the distinction between a “State” and a “public” body – a distinction, incidentally not enjoyed by RTE, which suffered the ignominy of having its Authority members summarily sacked in 1971 for broadcasting an anonymous IRA interview and the reporter jailed for refusing to reveal the IRA man’s identity
    (MacStiofain). RTE has always been on the tighter rein of Section 31 of the Irish Broadcasting Act. True, the BBC’s director general was sacked in 1985 for the programme On the Edge of the Union allegedly whitewashing Martin McGuiness’s paramilitary role and Gregory Campbell’s alleged shaving the boundaries of incitement. And the broadcasting ban of 1988 on all own-voice paramilitary interviews was hardly a high point of broadcasting freedom. But at least the use of actors’ voices just out of lip synch with Adams and the others made the government look memorably ridiculous. All this is history I hope. But it shows freedom has to be defended, even if produces the awkward paradox of FOI suffering for the wider defence. I believe – I would, wouldn’t I ? – that the BBC’s freedom is a clear public benefit, shared incidentally by Channel 4 and S4C, both also public broadcasters.
    The digital age of course is transforming the scene in Ireland with a new single Broadcasting Authority
    and in the UK with the operation of Ofcom.
    But all that is another story.

  • Eddie

    Get the facts – How on earth could the Freedom of Information Act apply to news and current affairs BROADCASTS from the BBC?

    The Act applies to information that is not in the public domain. A news and current affairs broadcast most certainly is already in the public domain, heard and seen by thousands, if not millions, of people. And, no, I am not employed by the BBC, but that doesn’t mean that I lack commonsense.

    If you don’t like what you hear on the BBC, or UTV for that matter, there are plenty of avenues for complaint, including Ofcom.

  • I’m glad to see the reference to the Welsh language station, Cyw, here. It shows how far behind the curve BBC NI are in catering for the Irish language population of the north. News Bulletins in Welsh, an entire TV station in Welsh, extensive news/newyddion on the web also.

    Rather than be satisfied with the crumbs from Gordon Brown’s table – six million over two years [which will be plundered by the BBC] for the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, this is what should be sought by political representatives in the North.

    I’ve always been in favour of broadcasting powers to the north – but lately I think a more radical policy is required. Until such time as the BBC NI commits itself to proper/adequate Irish language provision, ie on a par with Welsh language provision in Wales, a proportion of the North’s slice of the Licence Fund, approximately 10% [in line with the census figures on Irish speakers] should be allocated to TG4 and, on top of that, another 30% should be directed to RTE to allow it to cater for Northern Nationalists in general [40%] is a conservative estimate of the nationalist population in the north.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Con – ref Irish Language broadcasting. If people like yourself stopped using the language as a political tool then there could be a more open debate on the regional languages in this part of the British Isles. But we are a long way from that. BBC NI allocates too much of its budget to minority interests while ignoring the greater number of people in Northern Ireland. In fact the BBC NI website appears to be run by Republican supporters.

    You are advocating apartheid when it comes to broadcasting. Hardly surprising given your Republican background. A tradition which is very very proud of a sectarian murder campaign and a policy of ethnic cleansing along the border.

    The Ulster-British community deserves equality from BBC NI. And in turn BBC NI also needs to provide greater input into the UK network.

  • ggn


    I think that a BBC contribution, financial and or via program provision to TG4 would be an unfortunate but necessary compromise.

    Another solution would be an adapation of the forthcoming Scottish Gaelic station for the North.

    Cant wait for this despite the fact that I will have to get Sky.

    I am very glad to see the new development with the Welsh channel.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Con – how long were we funding you to put a Republican spin on things?

    The Republican Con on BBC NI Website

  • Brian Walker

    I would just point out to Con that Cyw, the new Welsh language children’s channel, is run by S4C and not the BBC. So the analogy with BBC NI doesn’t quite apply, any more than RTE is responsible for TG4. BBC Wales indeed supplies Welsh language TV news for the separately funded S4C and a Welsh language soap and other programmes in Welsh for the BBC Wales audience. It also runs a Welsh language learning website. BBC Radio Cymru is of course in Welsh, alongside BBC Radio Wales and its regional opt-outs. This is not the place perhaps to enter into the Irish language debate; suffice it to say that agreement on language policy is easier to reach when it is not hotly politically contested.

  • The issue, Brian, is of course a political one. That does not mean it should not be debated. The BBC in NI has grossly neglected the Irish language community in NI, as part of a general pro British/Unionist bias. It would do well to up its output in Irish significantly so that it can at least hold its own with the BBC contributions in minority languages in other parts of the UK.

    The NI Arts Council had the same neglectful attitude to the Irish language during your tenure there. I’m glad that’s changing, albeit too slowly, under the leadership of Roisin McDonough.

    As for the ramblings of PeaceandJustice, I think he’s obviously delusional. If he thinks the article I contributed to the BBC NI website back in 1999 is republican spin, he’s got another think coming. It’s as straight down the road as it could be.

    As for his assertions regarding ‘using the language as a political tool’, I think he’s wrong. His claims for this so called Ulster British community are similarly wrong headed – and I never supported a campaign of sectarian murder unlike the unionist community which regarded killing Catholic non combatants as ‘returning the serve’.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Brian Walker – “suffice it to say that agreement on language policy is easier to reach when it is not hotly politically contested”

    Agreed. People should be congratulated for learning another language. But the Republican Con doesn’t help the debate by politicising the language. There is no desire from the greater number of people that their money should be spent by BBC NI in order to facilitate the type of cultural fascism promoted by SF PIRA. Indeed the current agenda of BBC NI already discriminates against the Ulster-British community.

  • Brian Walker

    Another reply to Con, on a basic identity issue.
    I am not Brian Mercer Walker the eminent Irish Studies Prof who was chair of the NI Arts Council.
    I am Brian Walker, ex-BBC NI if you’ve got a very long memory, more recently a BBC editor in London and latterly former London Editor of the Belfast Telegraph. Just to clear that up.

  • Cultural fascism is an interesting term to mention Peace and Justice but you should beware of introducing a double edged sword into proceedings.

    Can you tell me what aspect of NI culture is peculiarly Ulster British?

    The rights of Irish language speakers in NI have been oppressed for so long by the so called Ulster British ascencdancy that it is time to get fair play and if you think that a few words in Irish on the BBC NI website is sufficient, then you’re gravely underestimating the grievance.

    Your own grievance is of the manufactured variety – British/unionist culture in NI has been celebrated to the expense of all others, particularly the native Irish culture. So it’s time to begin to share NI rather than continue the suppression agenda so favoured by fascists.

  • Apologies for that Brian! A genuine case of mistaken identity. I should have checked the facts and not made a false assumption….

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Con – A Republican like you would know all about manufacturing grievances – it’s what you do. There is very little of Ulster-Scots or Orange culture on BBC NI. There are many festivals, workshops, presentations, sporting events etc that don’t get a wider audience. I would like to know how much of our money BBC NI spends on promoting the terrorist linked GAA and the Irish Language. That would put things in perspective.

    BBC NI needs to address the imbalance. Most people in Northern Ireland can get the RoI channels. So there is no reason for BBC NI to spend even more money on minority interests when they need to end the discrimination against the Ulster-British community.

  • Todd

    RTE has being using the term NI now for a few years; BTW I’m from Western Ireland 🙂

    45% is hardly a minority.

  • What actually are the events – work shops, festivals, presentations – which are being ignored by the BBC? As for your references to the “terrorist linked” GAA, it’s a bit mystifying why you don’t use the same description to describe the Orange Order who have active terrorists in their ranks…. The whole world saw Johnny Adair and co (and Bily Wright) at Drumcree. The GAA can stand up for itself but as far as I know the organisation is purely a sporting organisation and that’s where it ends. Any links to ‘terrorism’ are purely in the sense of being linked to historic figures who may have been described as ‘terrorists’ by some but who would be described as freedom fighters or rebels by most reasonable people at this remove.

    The BBC spends approximately £5 per head on Irish language provision – while in Scotland, the BBC spends something like £30 per head on Gaelic provision. That’s the imbalance I want to see rectified. To have Irish treated on the same basis as other ‘British’ languages in these ‘British isles’.

    If there’s discrimination against the Ulster British community on the BBC, I think it should be stopped. However you’ve advanced no concrete evidence that there is such discrimination – after all doesn’t the BBC provide live coverage of the Orange Order 12th Parades etc! Even if there were discrimination against the Ulster British community, as you claim, without evidence, that is no reason for the BBC not to upgrade its meagre provision for the Irish language and culture on BBC NI. Or is your game merely to reduce the coverage of Irish language on the BBC?

    In that case, those Irish language and GAA enthusiasts living in NI and paying their licence fee should stop paying their licence to the BBC and pay it instead to TG4 and RTE. If the BBC is unwilling to provide the service, they shouldn’t receive the licence fee…..

    PeaceandJustice – that’s a funny name for a poster who posts like you do…..

  • ggn

    “they need to end the discrimination against the Ulster-British community”

    I would like more details of this.

  • kensei

    I particularly like how Republican is used a term of abuse.

  • picador

    A Choncubhar,

    The name of the lady who is head of the Arts Council seems familiar. Was she once linked with a notorious ‘Trotskyite’, since deceased?

  • willis

    P&J;”There is very little of Ulster-Scots or Orange culture on BBC NI.”


    That does not mean that Irish identity is in the ascendant. Ulster-Scots identity was just as scorned by Big House Unionism as Irish identity was.

    Were you in Carrickfergus last September for “Last Night of the Proms”?

    I was.

    I thought it was a great attempt to link our 3 cultures. Having said that, as I walked back to the car I didn’t see many Tricolours in the crowd. It was a sea of Union Jacks and NI flags.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Con – “What actually are the events – work shops, festivals, presentations”

    I’m talking about the many events and festivals organised by Ulster-Scots groups, the Ulster Society and the Orange Order. There is no arts and culture programme to cover them yet BBC NI continues to pander to the Pan-Nationalist lobby.

    Con – “after all doesn’t the BBC provide live coverage of the Orange Order 12th Parades”

    Yes, a couple of hours for one day of the year. We should be so grateful! That sums up the cultural fascism of Republican extremists like yourself.

    Con – “The GAA … Any links to ‘terrorism’ are purely in the sense of being linked to historic figures”

    Hardly. I’m talking about the links to Sinn Fein PIRA and other Republican death squads from the recent ‘Troubles’. Naming of stadiums, cups etc. All with the blessing of the leadership. No other terrorist linked groups gets funding let alone promotion on BBC NI.

    willis – “I didn’t see many Tricolours in the crowd”
    If you were at such an event in Eire you wouldn’t see any Union flags. See the fuss caused in Cork due to the flying of the Union flag for John Major’s visit.

  • Eireannach Saolta

    Peace and Justice = Willie Frazer?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Eireannach Saolta = Sectarian Bigot (no question mark)

    This is not about the gentleman you refer to or any other individual. It’s about the greater number of people in Northern Ireland. I know you don’t like having a Protestant Unionist about the place, but the Ulster-British community have rights as well and demand equality from BBC NI and the national network.

  • You still haven’t specified what the ‘Ulster British’ community are being denied by BBC NI or anyone else? What is it exactly that isn’t being covered by the station?

    Perhaps you should be thankful, for instance, that they don’t cover the paramilitary displays at the Eleventh Night Bonfires?

    Or how the Ulster Scots language and culture is being hijacked as a vehicle for funding the Orange Order and ultra unionist ‘cultural’ events?

    Or perhaps you’re worried that enough publicity isn’t being given on BBC NI to the links between the Orange Order and unionist terrorist organisations?

    I share your concerns – I think these events deserve the oxygen of publicity so the world can see the hypocrisy of those who claim, wrongly, that the Irish language is being politicised, while the “Ulster British Community” is being marginalised and not getting any government support. Millions of pounds are being spent every year by public authorities policing Orange Order parades so that the drunken participants don’t use the gardens on the routes as toilets or allow their hangers on to cause trouble. Millions are also spent every cleaning up the mess left behind by Eleventh Night Bonfires which the Ulster British Community build and burn but forget to clean up….

    Not to mention the effect such bonfires have on the health of the citizenry and on the environment…..

  • ggn

    “but the Ulster-British community have rights as well and demand equality from BBC NI and the national network.”

    What do you want? Give specifics.

    Maybe you will find people actually agree with you.

    As broadcasting is not a devolved matter I suggest you take up your concerns with your local MP and / or the British Governement.

    The output of the BBC surely is a matter for them and the government, hardly something nationalists can be implicated in.

  • ggn


    Quite. But with respect you have chosen not to answer my question. Duely noted.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Con – you use the language of Sinn Fein PIRA. Do you support ‘Sinn Fein’ or not?

    To ggn – Perhaps I shouldn’t have assumed that you had some knowledge of Ulster-British culture. I was talking about events such as the Border Reivers Festival, the Frontier Festival, the Broadisland Gathering etc. There are also larger events like the Hamilton and Montgomery Festival 1606-1610 where the main opening events took place a couple of years ago yet it received virtually no coverage from BBC NI.

    There are numerous Ulster-Scots events happening all over Northern Ireland every night of the week e.g. Scottish Dancing, Lectures, Poetry, Music Concerts, Marching Bands, Presentations, Sports Events. There is no arts and culture programme to cover them yet BBC NI continues to pander to the Pan-Nationalist lobby and fails to feed into the national network.

  • ggn

    “There is no arts and culture programme to cover them yet BBC NI continues to pander to the Pan-Nationalist lobby and fails to feed into the national network.”

    For example?

    I seem to recall ‘ulster-scots’ programing in English covering the very events you mention.

    I fail to recall much media coverage of what could perhaps by some be described a Gaelic equivalents of the examples you mention.

  • I don’t know what you mean by your question, P&J;. I could say that you use the language of a dinosaur – do you support the DUP? But I won’t bother.

    There is no arts/culture programme on BBCNI TV at present so there’s very little opportunity for any of the events you describe to get airplay. That’s not down to the Irish language or the GAA. That’s down to typical BBC bias against community based activities. If you want coverage of those events you describe, I see no reason why there shouldn’t be coverage. However I understand there is a weekly Ulster Scots programme, a whist of words, and I recall an entire TV series last year about marching bands at some championship or other. And there was “On Eagles Wing” which attracted support from TG4!

    So I think you’re protesting a trifle too much. And I think your complaints stand by themselves – and there is no linkage between them and the Irish language/GAA. The BBC will spend a fortune on broadcasting Irish league soccer or the Milk Cup but when Tyrone are playing Down in a replay in the Ulster Championship, no dice. That’s a disgrace.

  • PeaceandJustice

    I constantly see Irish language programmes being advertised on the BBC NI website. A mixture of chat, arts, culture and music. They don’t even have a section for Ulster-Scots. As I said in an earlier post, people are to be congratulated for learning another language – including Irish. But BBC NI have limited resources and it’s time the Ulster-British community got its fair share.

  • God P&J;I feel sorry for you….but then again I constantly see English language programmes being advertised on BBC NI website and on TV and I hear them on radio talking in English for 23.5 hours out of every 24.

    Do you actually speak Ulster Scots yourself?
    Aren’t you happy with NI Wags?

  • ggn

    “I constantly see Irish language programmes being advertised on the BBC NI website … But BBC NI have limited resources and it’s time the Ulster-British community got its fair share.”

    So are we saying that if the BBC had a website section in Ulster Scots then you would be happy enough?

    Is there many more people out there who would wish to see a BBC website in Ulster Scots.

    Wud thar be many mur bodies was luckin for to hae tha wabsit a tha BBC in hamely spake?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To ggn – I’m saying that there should be a section on the BBC NI website for Ulster-British culture. But of course that’s not enough as I’ve already indicated many times.

  • ggn


    What else do you want then?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To ggn – I’ve already stated above the type of events I would like covered.