Ben Beaumont-Thomas of Bad Idea looks at the future of news, as hinted at by the past week’s election coverage.To be honest, it rather seemed the same as last time (albeit with new platforms for the same sweet bite-size packaging of the momentous the news seems so good at at times like this)…

Ben: ‘So Radio 4’s Today was full of Frank Bruno being mental and miniature documentaries from Skegness, while Women’s Hour focused on bunions (insert your own Osborne joke here). There’s a wonderfully awkward pretense that hmm, nothing much seems to be happening today, which explodes into deranged swingometer-led musings the minute the polls close.

But this election is different. It was the first where social networking was used in campaigning, and the failures of big hubs like Labourspace (six grassroots campaigns in the whole of 2009!) were somewhat balanced out by candidates getting on Twitter and directly engaging with voters. In terms of election day reporting, social networking has created an even bigger change: where once your election day discussions were only passed around your immediate circle, now they’re on the Internet in a manner that completely rips up all the traditional rules on what’s allowed to be broadcast today. And on a day when vast swathes of the electorate still seem undecided, the cacophony from Twitter and Facebook could potentially change a lot of minds.’

Once the hangover clears, I might have more to say on the issue. For now, I am awaiting what emerges from Nick and Dave’s frantic discussions over the weekend. Perhaps a Tory government tempered by Liberal sensibilities might not be such a bad thing for us right now – although I was always quite positive and able to make the best of a bad lot…

Talking of election news coverage… the guys at Sky Creative – Andy, Greg and co – did a damned fine job of the interactive coverage – you can see some of it here.


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