Episode 15 - James Cook

#15: James Cook

In Episode 15 of Apolitical we speak with James Cook, until recently the Scotland Correspondent and now Los Angeles Correspondent for BBC News. We chat about his experiences covering the Independence Referendum in 2014 and the General Election in 2015; allegations of bias in BBC reporting; and the things he’ll miss about Scottish politics when he heads to California.



Amongst the topics we discuss with James on the podcast are:

• His interest in politics on a personal level;

• What Los Angeles holds in store for him;

• How the Referendum and 2015 Election campaigns differed from what had gone before;

• Highlights from covering those campaigns;

• Allegations of bias in the BBC’s reporting and where he thinks they could have done better;

• First-hand recollections from Gordon Brown’s bigot-gate episode in 2010;

• The politicians he’s found easiest and hardest to work with; and

• The things he will (and won’t) miss about covering Scottish politics.


Please join us in discussing these issues or any other raised in the podcast below, or find us on Twitter at @apoliticalpod.


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Show Links:

BBC News
BBC Scotland
James Cook on Twitter
The Big, Big Debate
“Absolute chaos” in St. Enoch Square!

apolitical podcast team

The apolitical podcast team develops, produces and promotes the apolitical podcast.

6 thoughts to “#15: James Cook”

  1. really good stuff, I thought James came across well and I am not a fan of the BBC. Good interview and I wish James all the best in the USA.

  2. Same here Gavin. Not a fan of the BBC at all but James came across well. I wish him all the best too. Thanks for sharing the AP team.

  3. As a yes voter I always thought the BBC did a pretty decent job all things considered. James was one of the best. Yes, they got some stuff wrong but there was never a big conspiracy and I think if you take a cold look at the output then it’s hard to claim that the Yes side was harshly treated. The admission that the No side on the other hand was perhaps lightly treated with regards scrutiny of what the status quo actually meant going forward is however telling and perhaps shows both sides weren’t equally fairly treated. Again, I think this more more a natural consequence of the proposition for change than any underlying bias. Inherent rather than pre-meditated. In any case, to any Yesser’s who are revelling in the Tories planned culls for the BBC I ask you whether or not you think any viable alternative would have done a better job? Be careful what you wish for…

  4. Very interesting interview. As a yes voter I always thought that James Cook was a beacon of genuine impartiality and the ‘bias’ accusations levelled at him personally were unfair. It was also interesting to hear his observation about how the media could have scrutinised the status quo more closely, as I always thought this lay at the root of the (perhaps unintended) bias of BBC reporting of the referendum in general.

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