This week in Parliament I welcomed the announcement from the BBC on the news of a new BBC Scotland digital channel. It is fantastic to see that this will create an additional 80 journalist posts in Scotland, as well as other jobs in news, radio, television and online services. The BBC is a vital national institution, and at a time when we are seeing growing media empires, and political attacks on the ideas of “fake news” – the BBC stands out at the forefront of unbiased reporting and is respected all over the world.
We have world class creative talent here in Scotland, and any moves that can drive that forward for successive generations should be welcomed. I hope this announcement will lead to more home-grown talent emerging across Scotland in the areas of journalism and the creative industries.
The important point moving forward from this announcement is that we get the maximum benefits for Scotland across the whole of the sector. I hope that once the channel is up and running, we across parliament are able to support the new channel, and if it needs more resources then we should make the case for that. This is a real opportunity for Scottish journalism and creative talent, and we must take that opportunity.
We must look at the issues around studio capacity and ensure that we have all the necessary requirements for production in Scotland in place. Hopefully this will help kick-start more production here in Scotland.
I look forward to BBC Scotland being on air from Autumn 2018.