Media industry seminar on the television coverage of the Scottish referendum

Participants at the event discussed the role of broadcasting in referendum campaigns

Participants at the event discussed the role of broadcasting in referendum campaigns

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was one of the most important political events in the media last year and generated unprecedented engagement among the electorate.

As part of the research project I have been working on in the last few months, looking at the framing of the referendum on television, I recently organised a seminar to discuss findings with members of the Scottish broadcasting industry. The seminar took place in Glasgow on 17 June and was attended by senior executives from BBC Scotland and STV, Ofcom, the BBC Trust, VLV Scotland, the Scottish Newspaper Society, political communicators and a small number of academics specialising in media and politics.

Participants engaged in very interesting and productive dialogue on the role of the media, and broadcasting in particular, in explaining what a referendum is about. The seminar demonstrated that there remains significant appetite for debate, almost a year after the Scottish referendum and in the prospect of the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

More opportunities to discuss findings from the project will arise during a session at the Festival of Politics ( on 16th August, where I will be on a panel with Bernard Ponsonby, Political Editor at STV, Daniel Maxwell, Executive Editor at BBC Scotland, and CMC’s own Professor Neil Blain; and at a conference that will take place in Stirling this September to examine the role of the media in the referendum. More information on these events will become available here:

The Television framing of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum project is kindly supported by the ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme (grant reference ES/L010062/1).

Special thanks to Eddy Borges-Rey for the photographs from the Glasgow seminar, and to Margot Buchanan for her help in its organisation.