Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Time to kill the swingometer?

Over at, there is an article comparing the US network's coverage of the presidential primaries with what the BBC puts on for General elections. The Beeb does not come out well.

"[On US network's] there are no lofty hosts like the Dimblebys. there are few outside broadcasts except those following the key players, and the US news networks don’t seem to have those silly time-wasting three-party discussions where politicians try to score points off each other. The US coverage also avoids those irrelevant “How are they seeing it in the White Lion?” sequences which seem to be a speciality of the BBC."

I was lucky enough to be watching the results of Super-Tuesday in my college common room, which has a sky package that includes CNN and Fox. This was a revelation because the approach they took was forensic, analytical and informative. It takes politics seriously and assumes a degree of intelligence and engagement on the part of its audience. I came away from that evening feeling I had not only learnt the results but also a lot about American politics in general.

It is really time that the BBC acknowledged that if someone is up at two in the morning watching election results then they are interested in what is happening and do not needs gimmicks to be kept awake. The BBC being outrethianed by Fox is a painful sight. It is one that we can only hope ends soon.

P.S: There's an alternative and more amusing take on the election coverage courtesy of the Daily Show.


Lee Griffin said...

Well, aside from the swingometer being a positive part of the BBC coverage ;)

James Schneider said...

Especially in the UK with our three party politics the swingometer is absurd unless you can make it 3D.