Is it really “just audio?” reports that producer Matt North reacts to a recent controversial comment regarding TV and radio production in Scotland, and ponders how professional sound work is perceived outside the industry.

Last month, you may have stumbled upon the online furore caused by an interview with journalist David Torrance, relating to the ongoing debate over the potential production of a BBC ‘Scottish Six’ news programme that would be edited and broadcast from Scotland to its audiences.

When asked why a similar service to the one that is currently broadcast on radio cannot be delivered in parallel on TV, Torrance stated that it is because “radio is much easier to deliver because it’s just audio. You’re not dealing with pictures, you’re not dealing with camera equipment and so on.”

Predictably, Torrance’s commentary enraged many online with his choice of words single-handedly implying a national incapability of producing and delivering such a television broadcast and thus offering grounds for offence to every Scottish camera operator, assistant and technician in the industry. He received so much abuse and trolling  that he announced his retirement from Twitter. In the light of how his comments were received, what I find most interesting is that the reaction has focused on the implied inability of Scottish camera operators; no one seems to have questioned Torrance’s severe over-simplification and disregard for audio professionals and the sound industry as a whole.


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