Emma Penny has mixed sound for ITN, working on huge outside broadcasts such as the VE Day Celebrations. Louise Willcox has supervised sound recording on Springwatch and Question Time. They came together to deliver a session on sound recording at our 2016 Student Craft Skills Masterclasses.
General Election 2015
Did the broadcasters’ coverage of the last general election actually determine its outcome? This was one of the key questions asked during what session chair Martha Kearney called an “inquest” into how television handled the run-up to polling day on 7 May.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg certainly thought so. He argued that there was too much of a focus on the possibility of a Labour/SNP tie-up and this “had two very big consequences. One, it had a determining factor on the outcome.
Watching an election campaign from an academic perch is very different to organising coverage in the newsroom. My university colleagues are no less engaged, but they stand outside the media-political bubble and are usually better informed.
This can make some of their questions more challenging than those of presenters, correspondents or politicians. They seem to think opinion should be based on rigorous research and evidence. Quaint notion.
We have had a team researching media coverage of the campaign that has been published in The Guardian each week.
For the past 12 months, the message from Westminster regarding BBC Charter review has been that nothing would happen before the election. Now, of course, it’s as if a starting pistol has been fired.
This is particularly so with sections of the press going into a frenzy of anticipation, based on certain previous statements by the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale.
In Wales, the interviews I’ve been asked to do as Chair of S4C have all been about what it might mean for the future of the Welsh-language channel.
Alastair Stewart may have hosted British television’s first political leaders’ debate in April 2010 but, more often than not, it was Jeremy Paxman who had the last word at a rumbustious RTS Legends lunch in May.
Steve Hewlett was the ringmaster at this highly entertaining event, which sought to bring an insider’s perspective to the recent general election.
For much of the time, the two TV anchor men agreed to disagree. Paxman was as cynical as Stewart was enthusiastic. Maybe he’d recently attended a positive-thinking course.
Apparently, I've not contributed a diary since 2010. Perhaps I only get invited in election years. In May 2010, I was also asked to review the different channels' election coverage by The Guardian.
On that occasion, I called it decisively for Sky News. ITN was fine but less dramatic. And the BBC, with its ship-of-fools party and an over-academic Vernon Bogdanor and a swingometer that couldn't cope with a three-way race and, and, and...