My name is Richard and I used to be a social media evangelist. Yes, I know, it’s shameful and hard to believe. But, back in the 2000s, the infant social media held such promise for broadcasters and audiences alike. In those sun-dappled days, we used to talk about the promise of interactivity, empowering the audience, real connection and insight into their thoughts and ideas. All this and free distribution!
This month, the BBC will unveil a longer version of The BBC Ten O’Clock News. The flagship bulletin will also come with enhanced production values. Even though the changes to the programme, fronted by Huw Edwards, have been under consideration for months, it will be seen as the latest round in the “battle of the bongs”, following the October relaunch of ITV’s News at Ten, with the user-friendly Tom Bradby.
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.
The upstart news network is winning new respect