A View from Scotland

“I usually contribute on a fairly frequent basis to the morning radio shows up here in Scotland, where I get called on to give a business perspective on various issues (independence, Brexit, even travel). I’ve also done some TV work for BBC Scotland on tech issues such as the potential of 5G technology and the launch of Apple TV+. I really enjoy it for lots of reasons, not least the ‘buzz’ of 5 hours’ notice to focus on a topic and pick out things that I think an audience might be interested in. I’ve learned to ignore myself in assessing these broadcasts and focus on the interviewers to see if they are engaged in what I’m saying. Yes, I have learned to ignore the size of y nose and that is a triumph in and of itself! It’s really contributed to my self confidence in networking and business development as I build my own enterprise.

However, since the outbreak I hadn’t had a call until Friday 24th April (and it was very short notice), when I was asked to contribute during the morning phone-in to give a business owner’s perspective on the Scottish Government’s announcement that we should expect much of the lockdown to continue beyond 2020.

I think we are fortunate in Scotland to have a female First Minister and a gender balanced government. Nicola Sturgeon has given her daily press conferences flanked regularly by two female ministers in Jeanne Freeman (Health) and, up until a foolish mistake on her part, Dr Catherine Calderwood (Chief Medical Officer). I think this is reflected in gender balanced radio and TV programming. I haven’t noticed an imbalance in Scottish coverage, although I confess for my own mental health I’m rationing my viewing/listening at the moment. However, it is markedly evident when watching what’s coming out of London and, frankly, I’ve stopped watching.

I do think that the BBC has a rich seam of expertise it doesn’t mine on a regular basis. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I can’t help but feel that I’m being used as a ‘filler’, which is fine up to a point as I’m not a professional journalist. But there never seems to be time to really discuss topics in any detail with others who have a different perspective. I’d love to be involved in round table radio talk, but it seems the ‘Experts’ are just there to be the odd talking head. It’s a constant battle to stay visible, isn’t it? It’s so frustrating!”

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