politics

General Election 2017: Why TV needs to change

At 10:00pm on 8 June, I was in a studio watching a live election-night show produced by two media companies that are going to be a big part of the future of political broadcasting. Neither of them were TV brands.

As the shock exit poll result came out, the two presenters, with a combined age about half that of David Dimbleby, reacted with squeals of surprise. This was all very un-Reithian.

Sophy Ridge, the woman changing on-screen politics

On election night in October 1974, the BBC’s anchorman, Alastair Burnet, announced a “welcome new addition” to the presenting team, Sue Lawley.

At least part of the reason for her welcome was that she was the first woman to play an on-screen role in a British election results studio.

Things have moved on, if not at breakneck speed. Emily Maitlis was again booked to be on the BBC’s set on 8 June. And, for the first time, a woman, Mishal Husain, was to play the Robin Day/Jeremy Paxman inquisitor role.

On ITV, Julie Etchingham was due to anchor – but only on day two.

Inside Sky's Election Campaign: Election Night Live

After weeks behind the scenes at Sky News, picking the brains of the team who had just seven weeks to put together an election night show "bigger and better" than any before (so said Sky News boss John Ryley), the RTS spent the night at Sky News HQ to give you the inside track of what is going on off-camera at the broadcaster's biggest show of the year.

The weeks of meticulous planning and preparation are over. Tonight Sky is live in around 350 locations across the country to cover the General Election 2017. 

Inside Sky's Election Campaign: The main event for data journalists

Graphics is "one of the most fun jobs you could possibly imagine" during election season, Sky News' Head of Design Chyaz Buffett told us, as he and Graphics Editor Charlotte Bingham prepare for one of the biggest nights in news broadcasting.

But just how important is graphics for Sky News' election coverage?

The graphics team talk about their big plans for election night and how their work fits into the news broadcast. 

Inside Sky's Election Campaign: Getting it right on the night with Paul Bromley

Bromley is Sky News’ Editor for On-Screen Information, the man responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all the information that viewers see on screen.

His job on election night, he says, is to ensure that “anyone turning on Sky News at any point in the [election show] will find out instantly the state of play. I have always worked on the basis that, if we have information in the building and we can share it, why wouldn’t you do so?”

“The information -the words and the numbers – is what I am concentrating on,” he explains.