The Newsroom

The BBC announce Local Election plans

Co-presented from London & Edinburgh

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
DT
DTV
It was talked about on the World Service last week
I feel like most of the domestic audience wouldn't be too interested in the Dutch elections - especially when a lot of people can't be bothered to vote in elections here!


That may be the case, but that's not really a way to decide editorial policy especially as BBC network bulletins have covered international elections of far less importance than last week's Dutch election. I'm not just talking about elections in smaller and more distant countries, but I've seen German regional elections make it on to BBC News bulletins when they have fit The Narrative™. I just feel you should have a consistent policy for these things - either cover all such events, or none at all. And given the fact the BBC covered basically every minor event of the US election last year, I don't think it's too much to ask to give a single 2-3-minute report to Dutch politics every four years.

I didn't see it mentioned by ITV or Sky either, so not just the BBC.


Not that surprising, the BBC tend to be better at covering foreign events than either of them, especially ITV.
SP
Steve in Pudsey
The thing is that a German election has the potential to affect us here, given the influential role Germany has in the EU. A US election has the potential to affect us here given America's influence on the world stage.

The Dutch, respectfully, don't have sufficient impact on the UK to make their election of interest to anybody without a specific interest, who is probably already following the result on Dutch platforms.
DT
DTV
The thing is that a German election has the potential to affect us here, given the influential role Germany has in the EU. A US election has the potential to affect us here given America's influence on the world stage.

The Dutch, respectfully, don't have sufficient impact on the UK to make their election of interest to anybody without a specific interest, who is probably already following the result on Dutch platforms.


I wasn't arguing against covering German federal elections, which I would agree are far more important than Dutch elections, but I would not say the same of elections to German state parliaments - which I have seen covered on BBC network bulletins before. A first-order election in the Netherlands is surely more important than a second-order election in Germany. Although given current opinion polls in Germany, I actually doubt their national election this September will get much coverage on the BBC either.

My main problem with it is the inconsistency. I'm pretty sure that the Dutch government's resignation in January was given a report on the main evening bulletins and the BBC has had several reports from various mid-sized European countries (like the Netherlands) about their specific Covid policies. Either the internal politics of these countries merits reporting on or it doesn't, but if it does then a national election should surely be covered. And they do - sometimes, typically when the follow The Narrative. It's not even like it was an uninteresting election - first time in western Europe that liberal parties have come first and second, continued collapse of the Dutch left and a fourth term for Rutte - not an easy feat in the hyperfragmented Dutch system.

Also the inconsistency of covering German regional elections is another point I could make - the 2019 election in the small state of Thuringia was given coverage on BBC network bulletins, while I didn't see a mention of Baden-Württemberg's election two weeks ago - despite BW having an economy larger than 21 EU members. Even if the internal politics of German states did matter to BBC News audiences, BW would matter far more than Thuringia. But again, one of those elections followed The Narrative and the other didn't.

At this point I feel I should mention, for those who aren't aware, that The Narrative™ is the observation/running joke that international news outlets are only interested in European elections when the far-right makes gains and tend to ignore them when they don't, regardless of the importance of the country or election or if another grouping has made striking gains. The BBC is regarded as a key perpetuator of The Narrative.
JO
Jonwo
Are any election debates happening especially for the London Mayoral elections?
DT
DTV
Jonwo posted:
Are any election debates happening especially for the London Mayoral elections?


Yes, the press release says seven mayoral debates (presumably the seven Combined Authorities) and a London mayoral debate. As well as state of the region debates in every region.
JO
Jonwo
DTV posted:
Jonwo posted:
Are any election debates happening especially for the London Mayoral elections?


Yes, the press release says seven mayoral debates (presumably the seven Combined Authorities) and a London mayoral debate. As well as state of the region debates in every region.


ITV London had one in conjunction with LBC last time so I assume they're doing one unless it's just the BBC doing it this time.
SP
Steve in Pudsey
DTV posted:
The thing is that a German election has the potential to affect us here, given the influential role Germany has in the EU. A US election has the potential to affect us here given America's influence on the world stage.

The Dutch, respectfully, don't have sufficient impact on the UK to make their election of interest to anybody without a specific interest, who is probably already following the result on Dutch platforms.


I wasn't arguing against covering German federal elections, which I would agree are far more important than Dutch elections, but I would not say the same of elections to German state parliaments - which I have seen covered on BBC network bulletins before. A first-order election in the Netherlands is surely more important than a second-order election in Germany. Although given current opinion polls in Germany, I actually doubt their national election this September will get much coverage on the BBC either.

My main problem with it is the inconsistency. I'm pretty sure that the Dutch government's resignation in January was given a report on the main evening bulletins and the BBC has had several reports from various mid-sized European countries (like the Netherlands) about their specific Covid policies. Either the internal politics of these countries merits reporting on or it doesn't, but if it does then a national election should surely be covered. And they do - sometimes, typically when the follow The Narrative. It's not even like it was an uninteresting election - first time in western Europe that liberal parties have come first and second, continued collapse of the Dutch left and a fourth term for Rutte - not an easy feat in the hyperfragmented Dutch system.

Also the inconsistency of covering German regional elections is another point I could make - the 2019 election in the small state of Thuringia was given coverage on BBC network bulletins, while I didn't see a mention of Baden-Württemberg's election two weeks ago - despite BW having an economy larger than 21 EU members. Even if the internal politics of German states did matter to BBC News audiences, BW would matter far more than Thuringia. But again, one of those elections followed The Narrative and the other didn't.

At this point I feel I should mention, for those who aren't aware, that The Narrative™ is the observation/running joke that international news outlets are only interested in European elections when the far-right makes gains and tend to ignore them when they don't, regardless of the importance of the country or election or if another grouping has made striking gains. The BBC is regarded as a key perpetuator of The Narrative.


Obviously whether any story gets covered depends on what else is happening on the day and how busy the news agenda is. There will necessarily be inconsistency as a result of that.

But if the German national elections are newsworthy for a UK audience, it follows that other elections which might give an indication of the electorate's intention at a forthcoming national election might be of interest? Particularly if there is a big swing in either direction that came as a surprise?
JO
Jonwo
Apart from the US elections, do audiences or broadcasters really care about elections going in other countries?
JF
JF World News
BBC normally simulcast these with BBC World News, but normally on a smaller scale with one presenter and experts on location and one in London,
CF
CallumF
The BBC's first debate was tonight it seems - for the London mayoral elections - Riz Lateef introduces the debate before handing over to their Political Editor: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000tjkd/bbc-london-evening-news-24032021

I'm not as knowledgeable as others about studio names etc. at New Broadcasting House but you will be able to see it from a few minutes in!
LL
London Lite Founding member
In the past, London mayoral debates would be pre-recorded and scheduled as an opt-out of network.
TR
trevormon


I'm not as knowledgeable as others about studio names etc. at New Broadcasting House but you will be able to see it from a few minutes in!


Looks like one of the occasional outings for Studio B.

Newer posts