27 April 2010

More PowerPoint election 'news' from the BBC

If BBC television news has given up on showing us much from speeches (see previous post and links to others), their obsession with inflicting information overload on us via PowerPoint style presentations shows no sign of abating (for more on which, see below).

Last night, 10 o'clock newsreader Huw Edwards was out on location in front of Cardiff castle, from where he sent us "live from our health correspondent" (back in the studio) for a "reality check on health policy" - i.e. a slide-dependent lecture punctuated by a few words of wisdom from an 'expert'.

After watching it through once, wait five minutes and then see how many of her handy facts you can remember.

Or, if that's too painful, give it marks out of ten according to how well you think this 'news report' did in fulfilling each of the aims of the BBC as specified in its Royal Charter, namely 't0 inform, educate and entertain'.



philpresents said...

I'd sum this up as "could have been a lot worse", even though you could do so much more with visuals to bring the message home.

Overall I believe the correspondent got across her key message that the next government will have a hard time squaring the circle of rising costs and constraining spending while maintaining levels of service.

Ten minutes on I can remember the positions of each party (a good image to have their policies on hospital beds), and the fact that costs have been rising higher than inflation. I can even remember that the new heart drugs, which could be used by 200k people, cost £2.25 per day versus the 5p per day of the current drugs, even though that comparison was crying out for a graph or visualization instead of bullets.

In general, it was reasonably well put together and it flowed logically. It certainly educated and informed me on the situation and choices ahead, and while it didn't entertain, frankly I don't think the news should be measured by that part of the BBC's remit.

Anonymous said...

Max, watching the debate I'm struck by how few pauses there are in the answers of the "debaters"; particularly right before they begin speaking. It gives the sense of a continual stream of chatter and is quite hard to digest. Is there any study of the impact of a well-timed and well-paced pause preceding a statement/response? It seems that it would help focus the viewers' attention if there were a little more breathing room- and might even assist in the delivery of a "killer line". I don't remember feeling the same issue during the American debates - did McCain/Obama approach things with a little less urgency and panic?