Elaine C Smith: Screen Presence/Screen Absence

In the new issue of Scottish Left Review, Elaine C Smith questions the democratic deficit in our media.

The new political landscape we find ourselves in now in 2011 after the massive SNP victory in the Scottish elections, provides us as a nation with much hope but much uncertainty over where we are and who as a country we are to become. These are important times for us all…. The game has changed and many things have to be altered if we are to make this country into the forward thinking, progressive, open social democratic nation that I believe the people want.

There are many areas politically, economically, culturally that need to be looked at in order to allow the maturing of our country to begin. The Scotland Bill and the changes that the SNP wish to bring in on several fronts, from the Crown Estates to Broadcasting are essential. I believe that getting control of broadcasting from Westminster to Scotland is pivotal.

If you want to know why areas like the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway seem to be lacking in or seem largely different in their political allegiances, then we need look no further than the television channels that they receive. Yes there are historical differences all around Scotland but it seems odd that a great swathe of our country remains largely unmoved by what went on here in Scotland on 5 May. We can’t just put it down to landed gentry or a proximity with the Border or even a lack of interest – Nationalist activists in the Borders are every bit as dedicated as in the rest of Scotland – but if the debate is marginalised and not being heard then that has a huge effect.  (Read more…)

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