Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crappy Coverage on Winnipeg Election

I won't go into content as that is a separate subject. I am more concerned about the TV news not showing up till one hour after the polls closed. In some cases, they really didn't show up at all.

Where were you CBC TV? was Dragon's Den more important than local election coverage?

Would you have skipped covering Toronto's election if Dragon's Den was on?

Well, the above would indicate that you did cover the election results through television last week in Toronto. Manitoba's civic election doesn't seem to have mattered as much.

The polls closed at 8. First to televise was Global at 9 pm. On at 10 was CTV. City TV doesn't do news anymore, do they? How do they even get a local licence?

CBC, the organization with the biggest news room for radio and TV's combined operations really only did a radio outing this time around. No slight on the radio people but TV visuals are hugely important in election coverage.

CBC Radio, CJOB and Kick FM all did radio coverage. Good work showing up to do civic duty, in my view.

The Free Press did some interesting work with a live feed. Good work on updates from the counts. Poor work done on what appeared on the counts in the margin.

Perhaps in a future civic election, someone from the paper will put up the unofficial count from their media group versus the count reported in to the election website.

Good to see some new people giving analysis. However, the half-hearted coverage and the late reporting showed a lack of preparation and care.

The overall effect was that anyone wanting to get election results and some excellent coverage was left bereft in terms of TV coverage, confused at print coverage with its live feed but out of whack elections numbers or radio coverage that lacked the visuals.

A provincial election is a year away. News media groups should be considering how they will cover this election in terms old technology and new technology. No doubt that cell phones and texting can update faster than anything we have seen. However, someone has to mind the fort and put up the data on screens whether it is the TV screen or computer screen.

Having someone who moderates the huge influx of info and offers context is an absolute must. Moreover, good analysis can help when data is slow in coming and background helps bring understanding of the candidates, the campaign and the issues.

While the non-mainstream media can cover certain aspects of an election, they generally don't have the resources to do what major media groups do when it comes to election night. This time around, the major media groups showed that even having better resources doesn't necessarily mean great coverage. I hope they put a better effort in these next months in advance of the provincial election.

In the mean time, alternative reporting can and should do its best to cover the provincial election.

I propose that we get numerous bloggers to shed some insight into the various ridings in the province and cover the election the best we can.

I am willing to work the Tuxedo riding as that is my home constituency. I will try to put some effort in a few adjacent ridings as well but hope that others will lay claim to some areas for themselves.

If someone could have a central webpage for the articles, all the better.

Let's hope for good election coverage in the weeks and months ahead.

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