Scotland Ponders Independence Referendum After TV Debate

August 26, 2014 5:02 PM

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Scotland Ponders Independence Referendum After TV Debate

How might an independent Scotland differ from the country that is currently part of the United Kingdom? When two of Scotland’s highest profile politicians—First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party and Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling of the Labour Party—faced off against each other on Aug. 5 in the first of two debates ahead of the Sept. 18 referendum, only viewers north of the England-Scotland border reliably got to hear their answers to this question. The debate was broadcast on TV in Scotland only while a live feed on the website of Scottish broadcaster STV seized up under the weight of would-be viewers elsewhere in the U.K.

Last night’s rematch, by contrast, could be viewed without technical hitches on televisions and computer screens throughout Britain and Northern Ireland because it was broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which serves the whole of the U.K. The BBC is one of many institutions that...

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