Research Output
BBC Radio in Scotland - National, Regional and Local: Mission Impossible?
  The way radio is set up in Scotland is significantly different from that of England. For the BBC, Scotland is a “national region”, served by the national station, BBC Radio Scotland, and a small network of local or regional stations which operate on an opt-out basis only, with very limited output ranging from a few minutes to one hour a day in selected regions and with no local news provision in major urban areas such as Glasgow, Dundee or Edinburgh. Audiences in Scotland are also served by commercial radio, whose news output is minimal, and community radio which by and large does not offer any substantial news output. This may not have mattered as much when local newspapers were read widely; but it does matter now. Radio listeners in Scotland say they place a high value on local news (Ofcom, Citation2018), yet its provision seems to be insufficient. While the existing literature in the field outlines various factors that have contributed to the current situation, it fails to explore the perceptions of those supplying the news – in this case BBC Radio Scotland journalists – about their role and the challenges that lie ahead. The present study is an attempt to address that gap in research by employing in-depth one-to-one interviews with journalists working for BBC Radio Scotland opt-out stations. Insight into their practices and views on their own and their stations’ roles helps us understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Scottish local public service radio model at a time when BBC local and regional radio is facing big cuts and changes to the way it operates (BBC Media Centre, Citation2022). After all, the journalists interviewed for the present study are not just producers of news; they are key stakeholders as well.

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  • Date:

    10 August 2023

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Kocic, A. (2023). BBC Radio in Scotland - National, Regional and Local: Mission Impossible?. Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 30(2), 555-569.


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