Monday, 15 March 2010

Gordon Brown tries to win over women

The Prime Minister was the latest party leader on Woman's Hour today (, the latest in a series of attempt by the main parties to sway the female vote.

Swing seats can often hinge on the female vote and the narrowing of the polls is evidence that votes are there to be won.

The key figures have become 'Sam Cam' and Sarah Brown, who have been brought to the fore to soften the campaign and create (in the case of Samantha) a softer element to the party.

It's been a similar story digitally with Netmums given a political prominence it can (probably) scarcely believe.

So how is this phase of the election panning out? Not very well in my eyes. None of the politicans have shown any true connect with the audience and it comes across as rather tokenistic as a result.

Samantha and Sarah's roles are also the subject of hyperbole and although Sarah is a savvy PR operator and emerging digital presence, she has yet to prove that she is able to work her skills on her husband.

I think that this is an experimental phase of the campaign and predict we will see much more negative campaigning before too long as the Conservatives look to go on the offensive.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

BBC cuts should not halt diversifcation of content

Today's BBC cuts, ironically leaked last week in The Times, are remarkable only in that the Corporation has chosen some of its lowest audience but most diverse areas to close.

The Asian network, BBC Switch and 6 music all arguably dared to try something different. The lesson it seems, is that whilst the BBC may want to stop its expansion, it doesn't want to lose its audience share.

That is the dicotomy of a tax payer funded public service broadcaster in 2010 and that's why the licence fee can't survive forever.

It will, however, increase the pressure to restrict BBC online content further and thus open up the competition in the market. This can only be good for a pluralistic democracy but only if other media outlets can finally adapt to a new media age and offer the sort of online content people will be willing to pay for.

The BBC didn't force the rest of the media to fail so miserably at this and it didn't force them to give away their content for free.

Let's see if the BBC backing down (or at least starting to) will signal the beginning of a media resurgence starting with successful pay walls...