When the Electoral Commission decided last Wednesday that there should be no officially designated Yes and No campaigns, Yes For Wales Ltd, the only bidder for the Yes lead designation, put out a statement saying that despite the Commission's decision that the company would remain the official leader of the Yes campaign because it retained the support of all the other groups who had registered support for a Yes vote. Fair enough.
Yes for Wales Ltd also noted the fact that there isn't a similar umbrella group that unites those on the No side, again a fair comment.
Given that Yes campaigners have united around Yes For Wales Ltd and that No campaigners are disparate the Company's statement also contained an opinion that broadcasters should reflect this reality saying that as there is no recognised lead for the 'No' campaign, no single group should be treated with any sort of priority over other fringe parties campaigning for a No vote. In other words Mark Beech from the Monster Raving Loonies and myself should be treated as the True Wales no campaigns' equals.
This statement appears to have got up the nose of BBC Wales' political editor Betsan Powys. How dare Yes for Wales interfere with the BBC's editorial judgement! On Dragon's Eye on Thursday on her blog today she says "We'll decide who to interview based - not on whether they've sent an envelope to the Electoral Commission - but after considering things like whether a group, or individual, has a demonstrable track record of campaigning on the issue, have campaigning capacity and whether they represent that side of the debate to the greatest extent. In other words you try to use editorial judgement when you decide who to interview and how often."
I totally agree with Betsan the BBC and other broadcasters must show fair editorial judgement in deciding who to interview and how often, to do otherwise would be unacceptable especially from a public service broadcaster. But I'm not quite sure that the BBC is showing fair editorial judgement. When Betsan goes on to describe who the BBC is likely to interview from the No side she explains that we will be "hearing from all sorts of voices from within True Wales".
Mark Beech and I might just have "sent an envelope" to the Electoral Commission in Ms Powys' haughty view, but in sending those envelopes we have shown that concerns about the GOW Act referendum are wider than just those expresses by voices within True Wales. As Yes For Wales Ltd says any fair editorial judgement should ensure that those wider concerns are heard.