THIS week’s rescheduling of ITV News at 10 to 10.15pm affords viewers an interesting comparison between the two main free-to-air nightly news programmes, and it does not reflect well on the BBC.

Editorial judgment will always be a matter of opinion, but too often, I suspect the dead hand of the corporation’s London establishment masters is slanting news output towards UK governmental narratives, preaching largely to the converted. The most watched TV news programme across the country is, I believe, increasingly failing its dwindling audience.

Tuesday night’s offering was a classic case in point; BBC News at 10 led with the headline "Major U-turn by Scottish Government" on the so-called exams fiasco, followed by a curiously curated "Employment down" headline.

The globally significant selection of black senator Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running-mate in November’s seminal US election was curiously reduced to third in the BBC News running order.

By contrast, the ITV News equivalent led on the US Democratic Vice Presidential pick, the Scottish exams story failing to make it into the top five of the ITN-produced programme’s editorial hierarchy.

For this observer, two important issues arise; first, why was an essentially – in UK and global terms – local/regional story about a uniquely exceptional set of educational circumstances – one soon to be experienced by the three other UK administrations – promoted to the lead story when there were strong alternative news stories on offer?

My belief is that an institutionally-pro-Union BBC, cowed by the Conservative Government over the licence fee, charter renewal and the removal of free TV for all over-75s is now dancing – and none too subtly – to Downing Street’s tune and its "Save the Union" agenda, a practice that will only intensify leading-up to next May’s epoch-defining Scottish Parliament elections.

Secondly, BBC’s use of the visual headline "Employment falls”, I find curious at best, deeply-suspicious at worst; my first reading suggested "Unemployment falls" and I cannot be alone in that erroneous interpretation, whilst "Employment falls" is benign in a way the correct headline, "Unemployment rises", is not.

These issues illustrate important and subtle choices of content, priority interpretation and wording and consistently careless BBC News is surely not; they can fool some of us some of the time, but, judging by collapsing viewer figures, not sufficient of us enough of the time to bring about a repeat of its hollow 2014 victory.

Mike Wilson, Longniddry.