THERE is a lack of logic and a failure of public service in the BBC’s decision to switch off Nicola Sturgeon’s daily report on the handling of the pandemic.

If it was, as it was, important for her to be given television time during the worst periods earlier in the year, and continue broadcasting as the impact of Covid-19 diminished as the summer progressed, why discontinue now when the pandemic appears to be more threatening as winter approaches?

If there was a political concern about the Sturgeon daily reports, as George Foulkes’s intervention suggests, then that is easily addressed.

Give the First Minister 30 minutes to report, then give the leader of the opposition 30 minutes to question on the report, and provide the media with additional time to question Ms. Sturgeon.

That way, the public gets information of government policy, political fairness is served, and the media’s rights are catered for.

Jim Sillars,


THROUGH the long months since March, living under the threat of virus infection, a welcome constant for my family and myself, as for many others, has been the daily BBC health broadcasts by the Scottish Government and their excellent health advisers.

These newscasts have been articulate and informative, whilst eschewing controversial politics.

They have been especially valuable to older citizens and others such as the deaf and those without access to the internet.

The management of the epidemic to minimise infections and deaths has been about influencing human behaviour through communication, and the standard bearer for this has been the daily BBC broadcast.

The broadcasts have been a key tool used by the Government in the ongoing health campaign.

We are now at a difficult stage in the campaign as easing of the lockdown rules has led to a new rapid growth in the infection rate.

It is essential on a day-to-day basis that the population has direct access to changing rules and to a comprehension of the underlying factors, and hence the daily BBC broadcasts are, if anything, more important now than for some time.

These are perilous times and we are astonished at the decision to remove the broadcasts.

No adequate reason for this has been provided, and their action could quickly become a PR disaster for the BBC.

It has been alleged that the BBC have given in to political pressure, but I am sure that this cannot be true.

Our public broadcaster cannot have decided that politics is more important than public health.

However, this egregious decision must be reversed. And the BBC should understand that admitting to a mistake is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Professor Alan Murdoch,