Thompson and MacQuarrie to be Quizzed by the MSPs

The director-general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, and the director for Scotland, Ken MacQuarrie, are both to be quizzed by MSPs today.

Joined by Bruce Malcolm, chief operating officer at BBC Scotland, the pair are appearing at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee.

Says an introduction to the agenda for today: “Following its round-table evidence session on broadcasting on January 24 2012, the Committee agreed to take further oral evidence from the BBC on issues such as previous and future funding of BBC Scotland, provision and funding of news and current affairs in Scotland vis-à-vis London and the rest of the United Kingdom, and issues around job cuts that were raised by the National Union of Journalists at the roundtable evidence session.”

The agenda continues, later: “The clerks have advised the BBC that the Committee may wish to raise the following issues, all of which were previously raised at the roundtable evidence session:

“The question of whether BBC Scotland has done enough to 'fight its corner' in discussions at a UK level; The perceived historic underfunding of BBC Scotland; Funding for the Today programme vis-à-vis Good Morning Scotland; Funding for Radio Scotland compared with funding for Radio Wales; [and] Whether BBC Scotland’s budget cuts will affect the quality of news and current affairs coverage.

“[Plus] News and current affairs coverage in the run up to the referendum; Benchmarking between news and current affairs in Scotland and London and the rest of the UK; Issues around the possibility of the provision of a 'Scottish Six'; What the impact of cuts will be on the BBC Scotland workforce (eg. respect of health and safety, stress levels and mental health); Staff training and multi-skilling; Investment in new technology; [and] Editorial control and moderation of online comments on blogs.”

The committee meeting kicks off at 10am. Click here for possible video streaming of the proceedings.

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