2007 - 2021

Breaking Bad

In light of the publication of the Scottish Press Awards Shortlist 2020 (an annual exercise in mutual back-slapping for hacks) we’re delighted to announce the first annual Worst Scottish Media Awards (The Bawbags).

The categories include: Worst TV Show, Worst Newspaper, Worst Radio Programme, Worst Editorial Judgement, Worst Columnist, Worst single Column in the last year, Worst Blog, Worst Radio Station, Worst Sports Reporter, Worst Magazine, Worst Twitter account, Worst Business Journalist and Worst Journalist of the Year.

The awards are a celebration of the very worst in Scottish press print journalism and broadcast media, but there is room for UK and international examples if they are truly dire.

Who has reached new depths of ineptitude? Who delivers a truly terrible production week in week out? Who indulges in churnalism, clickbait, fake news and chumocracy? Who’s been embedded too long?

Your nominations please by Friday 20 March.

Email us here or DM on Twitter your suggestions.

The longlist will be updated daily.

Longlist for 2020:

Worst TV Show

The Andrew Neil Show
BBC Question Time
Good Morning Britain

Worst Newspaper

The Scottish Sun
The Daily Mail

Worst Radio Programme

Call Kaye, BBC Radio Scotland

Worst Editorial Judgement

Neil Mackay
Alison Fuller Pedley
Brendan O’Neill
Fraser Nelson
Rob Burley
Iain Martin
Mandy Rhodes

Worst Columnist

Iain Macwhirter
Stephen Daisley
Brian Beacom
Brendan O’Neill

Worst single Column in the last year

Stuart Waiton
Brian Beacom
Craig Murray

Worst Blog

Craig Murray
Wings over Scotland
Guido Fawkes
Barrhead Boy
These Islands

Worst Radio Station

BBC Radio Scotland

Worst Sports Reporter

Keith Jackson

Worst Magazine

The Spectator

Worst Twitter account

Dan Hodges
Piers Morgan
Duncan Hothersall
Stuart Campbell
Tom Gallagher
Alex Tiffin @RespectIsVital
Kevin Hague @kevverage

Worst Business Journalist

Worst Journalist of the Year

Laura Kuenssberg
Robert Peston

Comments (40)

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  1. India Osaka says:

    >Worst Twitter account

    Can we nominate people whose twitter accounts were shut down for hate speech after years of them bullying women and LGBT people online? I am not thinking of anyone in particular.

    1. Open nomination … nominate away!

  2. Pam oliver says:

    Craig Murray is excellent . Should not be on this list . Iain mcwhirter is fine too . The rest are all terrible . Especially Andrew Neil show .
    Kaye Adams radio Scotland Neil Mackey editorial judgement . Piers Morgan ( whatever he is ) the sun and daily mail the same .

    1. John Massie says:

      Totally agree, what kind of establish claptrap is this? Craig Murray is an outstanding comentator. Get a grip @bellacalledonia!

      1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

        I, too, was amazed to see Craig Murray’s name. I suspect it came from a troll.

        Mr MacWhirter can be somewhat of a hack in his pieces, but, on the whole, over his career, he has been a pretty reasonable journalist.

        1. John O'Dowd says:


          Shocked to see Craig Murray – a brave, principled, informative and innovative writer – with all the right instincts

  3. Dave says:

    I would like to add The National to worst newspaper.

  4. MBC says:

    What’s wrong with Craig Murray?

  5. Jo says:

    On the grounds of equality, surely there should be some females in there? Let’s face it, there are a few truly terrible female journos about!

    1. Jo says:

      *some more female journalists

    2. john d says:

      Does kuensberg count as a journalist?

      1. Jo says:

        She does indeed. I just had expected more in the list.

  6. Thom Cross says:

    Worst Sports Journalist (s) ALL MSM sports dept who totally ignore one of the very few sports in which Scotland has regular winners at Global/Commonwealth level. BOOLS/BOWLS. A game played by over 80,000 all over the country but ah….sh in a whisper (working-class folk). Apologies for using the w-c word but current journalists can ask their auld-yins what it means.

  7. Alan M says:

    Worst TV Show – BBC Question Time

    Worst Newspaper – The Scottish Sun

    Worst Editorial Judgement – Fraser Nelson

    Worst Columnist – Brendan O’Neill

    Worst single Column in the last year – Neil Mackay

    Worst Blog – Wings over Scotland

    Worst Magazine – The Speccie

    Worst Twitter account – Piers Morgan

    Worst Journalist of the Year – Laura K

    1. Thanks Alan – your nominations have been accepted.

  8. Hamish100 says:

    I nominate the National and Sunday National and any pro Indy blog

    …. don’t Misunderstand… I support Indy all the way except for Nicola Sturgeon , the SNP, greens, trust me ….. misty eyes lol

  9. Robert says:

    Sorry Mike, but I’m going to nominate Bella Caledonia for “worst editorial judgment” as a result of having nominated Craig Murray in two categories. His blog is outstanding (not the same as being always right, of course.)

    1. Hi Robert, it’s a public vote – nominations are by the public. I thought that was clear?

      1. Robert says:

        Not really — it reads as if you’re seeking additional nominations to the ones on the list already (who came up with those?)

    2. Jo says:


      Is that not a bit childish?

      People are entitled to nominate freely without dictating who can’t or shouldn’t be nominated. It’s just about different opinions and tastes.

  10. James C says:

    Sorry to be pedantic, but this appears to be a shortlist. Unless it’s going to get updated.

    Can Jim Traynor be put in the list somehow?

    1. This is the longlist, updated daily with the publics suggestions, then move to a shortlist and vote. Thanks.

  11. Grafter says:

    Worst Blog….Craig Murray ??? Aye right. Get a life.

    1. Bob says:

      Craig Murray’s contribution to journalism is equal to Ronan Keating’s contribution to the Delta blues.

  12. Andrew Norrby says:

    Worst journalist:

    Robert Peston
    Laura Keunsberg

  13. Diogenes says:

    Piss weak unquestioning stenographer of the year is a potential category ref: https://youtu.be/1efOs0BsE0g?t=84

  14. Kenny Smith says:

    Sorry there is no danger Craig Murray and Barrhead Boy should be anywhere near the list. My top headliner would be Pete pish yer pants Wishart king of the fearties. He’s almost as bad as the outright muppets like Kenny Farquason and Alex Massie. There is another 2 for your list

  15. Le Grand Soir says:

    Worst judgment : Bella Caledonia (for letting Craig Murray’s name slip into the list.)

    1. Should we have suppressed and pretended that everyone thinks Craig Murray is great?

      1. John O'Dowd says:

        No, but you did ‘suppress’ my previous comment in support of Craig Murray . I wonder why?

        1. Possibly because he’s a dangerous fantasist and egotistical conman and his fans are equally repellent?

  16. seonaidh says:

    The new lunchtime show on Radio Scotland is pretty bad. They moved John Beattie and cancelled the excellent Media Review. Is it worse than Call Kaye? Hard one to call.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      The trailers for this show are a surreal word salad!

      1. Graeme Purves says:

        Lunchtime Live.

  17. Graeme Purves says:

    Am I too late John McLellan to nominate for the worst columnist category? His columns in The Scotsman really are laughably dire. I take a perverse delight in chortling over them when I’m round at my mum’s.

  18. Graeme Purves says:

    I feel David Leask deserves a special award for being Scotland’s most fragile journalistic snowflake.

  19. cherson says:

    I think the worst paper long list should definitely include the Daily Express. I use Google News a lot and the headlines from the Express seem to focus on 3 things (excluding Covid-19); attacking the SNP; warnings about asteroids/comets etc. flying past the earth; and attacking remainers.

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