THE BBC is to appoint its first Scotland Editor as a response to the vociferous criticism of its coverage of the referendum.

The corporation will shortly advertise the new post, and hope to appoint journalist to the high profile role by the end of October.

The Scotland Editor will report on Scotland and its issues for the UK BBC network while being based in Scotland.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon claimed the BBC's coverage of last year's independence referendum was unfair.

In a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, the First Minister claimed the corporation only analysed the SNP's case for independence and failed to consider the consequences for Scotland of staying in the UK.

A BBC source said that the new post - a first for the BBC - was prompted by months of discussion and reflection on the broadcaster's coverage of the referendum and the political landscape after the General Election.

"It is a recognition that Scotland has become a story in itself," an insider said.

"One of the criticisms of our reporting was that it took time for a story in Scotland to reach the network: this is a response to that."

The BBC are open minded, it is said, about the profile of the successful candidate for the job: it could be a well known broadcaster from television or radio, or a relatively new face to the screen.

The BBC has editors of similar standing in foreign countries such as US Editor Jon Sopel, Europe Editor Katya Adler and Jeremy Bowen, who is Middle East Editor.

The title of editor does not mean the Scotland Editor will be commissioning programmes but is an acknowledgement of seniority within the broadcaster's news staff.

The BBC has been reluctant to have such a role within the UK but the magnitude of the political changes in Scotland, the response to its referendum coverage and the current political changes in Scotland prompted BBC bosses to instigate the change.

The Scotland Editor will report to the head of news at Pacific Quay but will be primarily reporting for network BBC newscasts, not the BBC Scotland news or radio.

"There will be more Scottish news on the network BBC news," an insider said.

The new post, insiders say, was not prompted by high profile criticism of the BBC such as former First Minister Alex Salmond's critique of the broadcasting of political editor Nick Robinson, or this week's speech by Nicola Sturgeon, the current First Minister.

Instead it has been discussed for months and the BBC hopes to have the successful candidate in place by next month.

Delivering the Alternative McTaggart lecture at the television festival yesterday, Ms Sturgeon complained "network" journalists, reporting the story for the whole of the UK, were poorly informed.

She said: "I am not saying there was institutional bias in the BBC's referendum output.

"However, there were occasions when its coverage - through oversight, apparent ignorance of the detail of an issue or as a result of simply following the agenda of openly partisan print media - lapsed from the objective output the referendum deserved into what could seem partial and, at times, pejorative."

She added: "I don't doubt the effort and integrity that went into the Corporation's coverage.

"And, for the record, I think that the BBC, and BBC Scotland in particular, has some of the finest political journalists in the land.

"But that was undermined on occasion by those lapses, some of which have been recognised and flagged up by the BBC's own internal processes subsequent to the vote."

She said it was right the case for independence should be analysed to a greater degree than the case for staying in the UK.

But she complained: "The status quo and the consequences of voting No were not really analysed at all."

She also said the BBC's "network" journalists came late to the campaign and "sounded less than fully informed" to audiences in Scotland.

She added: "The frustration that many felt was not borne out of a misplaced desire to control the media, but from a genuine concern that the playing field didn't always feel even."