I think most people would agree that STV have been somewhat better and more balanced in their coverage of the Scottish political scene than either their network ITV counterparts, or the BBC. It was therefore very disappointing to see STV journalist Oliver Dickinson post the following tweet a few hours ago -
"Looking to speak to anyone in Scotland who has had an operation delayed or cancelled in the last year for tonight's STV News."
OK, look. It's all very well broadcast journalists reacting with indignation and incredulity when the hated "Cybernats" question their commitment to political impartiality, but they really do only have themselves to blame if they're going to publicly post tweets that basically say "we want to feature you on the news if you've had a bad experience with the Scottish NHS that would lend credence to the opposition parties' latest attack line, but for pity's sake don't trouble us if you've had a good experience". An ITV journalist (Peter A Smith) defended Dickinson by essentially saying "don't shoot the messenger" - he argued that if bad news exists, you shouldn't be blaming a journalist for reporting it. That's fine, but what you can blame a journalist for is seeking out only negative information, and precluding even the possibility of exposing himself to anything more positive. It's fatuous to pretend that such an approach will not skew the content of the eventual news item.
Not for the first time, David Halliday nailed it with his own sardonic response -
"Looking to speak to anyone in Scotland whose experience matches tomorrow's Labour party press release, for the day after tomorrow's news."