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Turn on, log on, join in

Craig Oliver Craig Oliver | 11:26 UK time, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

There's always a lot of chat about the brave new world where TV and the web are converging - but how much is it happening in reality?

With my hat on as editor of BBC Election programmes I can point to a very real example this Thursday night/Friday morning: the BBC Election Night programme.

It's become increasingly clear that the web has something extra to offer on election night. An elaborate network of opinion formers, activists and analysts collide online producing fact, rumour, and mood not found anywhere else. While guarded politicians offer the official line on radio and TV ("let's just wait and see" or "what you say is a disaster is really a triumph") the web provides the unvarnished truth about what the parties are really thinking.

Emily MaitlisThat's why we're harnessing these strengths as never before on Election Night. David Dimbleby and Nick Robinson will be in the studio with some of Britain's top politicians bringing authority and analysis to proceedings as the BBC has always done; but a new addition is Emily Maitlis who'll be sifting the chatter online with the help of some of the UK's most committed political bloggers; Iain Dale, Luke Akehurst and Alix Mortimer.

They'll be using their contacts to provide us with immediate reaction from the parties to the night's results. Our website colleagues will be providing a special webpage with the best of each of their blogs - all hosted by Ms Maitlis at "Emily's Election".

That's alongside the normal comprehensive online offering which includes a map of all the results; the chance to find out what happens where you've voted; and at-a-glance look at how the night develops.

This year's local elections promise to be the most politically significant for years. They'll also see a step change in how we use TV and online to cover the story. So put on a pot of strong coffee, turn on, log on, and join in.

BBC Election coverage:
•BBC One, 2335 BST
•BBC Radio 4 Midnight to 0300 BST with Jim Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn
•Radio 5 Live 2200 to 0500 BST with Richard Bacon and Dotun Adebayo
•and BBC London 94.9 on Friday from 1500 to 2200 BST
•On the web at bbc.co.uk/elections

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, we live in exciting times, technology wise. The time of the "communications revoluton", perhaps. The time when the internet joins tv as part of average joe public's everyday life (and maybe some totally unforeseen outcomes - things always move faster and are much more significant than most of us ever imagine).

    Back to planet earth and the local elections, aswell as keeping us informed (with results, graphs, etc.) and listening to our views, how about some online opinion polls aswell.

  • Comment number 2.

    Does the BBC's heavy bias in favour of Labour not diminish any authenticity this will have? So far we've seen very little equality in terms of the treatment of candidates for Mayor. Will this BBC team be able to contain themselves and provide balanced reporting on this occassion against all the odds?

  • Comment number 3.

    If Gordon Brown really thinks and feels for the general public, he would stop taking the increased fuel tax as the fuel price rises at the pumps.
    But as King of the stealth tax increases I doubt that he will do anything.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Oh god help us!

    Emily Maitlis was cring worthy when she appeared during last year's BBC's Local Election night coverage. She was even worse the other night on Newsight when she tried to interview a senior Tory (I do'nt think I've ever seen a BBC journalist so badly briefed.)

    Why does the BBC keep having to try and re-invent the wheel? Why do you have to keep trying to appear 'young and hip'? 99% of people watching tonights coverage are going to be self-confessed political geeks so why not cater for them? Why not give us wall to wall political coverage with top notch analysis instead of putting people in pubs trying to pretend they are down with the British public? I say this as a young 20 something and a British Asian, so probably tick lots of boxes in terms of BBC target audience. As John Major said get back to basics.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    BRING BACK THE SWINGOMETER!!!!!!!!!!
    The graphics tonight are making me dizzy.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    I usually enjoy David Dimbleby's election night on BBC TV, but not tonight, somehow it wasn't the same.

    Far too much chat and childish analysis, I turned off after the first hour or so after some of the results started to come in and listened to the election on Radio 4.... what a relief.

    Why is it that politicians are always searching for excuses instead of blurting the truth.... poor Tessa Jowel she gave the impression she lost a wad of ten pound notes - sure glad I turned off.

    Bring back the old style and the swingometer?.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Any chance of releasing all the "awaiting moderators" comments above?

  • Comment number 16.

    Was there any reason why the Lib Dems appeared third on the bar charts for the Projected Share of the Vote despite finishing second, ahead of Labour?

    Wouldn't like the BBC to be accused of effectively, and inaccurately, depicting England as a two-party system.

    Also, with the increased representation of the SNP, Plaid, the NI parties, Greens, UKIP and (unfortunately) BNP it seems strange to lump them altogether in the "Other" column in every graphic apart from specific council / constituency results. When it comes to the next election you could at least represent the nationalist parties as a distinct category from "Others".

  • Comment number 17.

    Even being generous your local election coverage was inane, partisan, and totally unwatchable.

    Dimbleby, as with Question Time, can't hack it any more and seems to view snide comments as wit, Robinson spent all night spinning the results for Labour and the least said about Vine the better. As for the childish graphic again you likened Tory leaders to lower levels of human development.

    Whoever thought that was the way to cover an election needs to resign or be sacked.

    To be fair the coverage of the Mayoral results was markably better.

  • Comment number 18.

    Lets hope Boris will sort it all out! God created the World in 7 days, Gosh hes only got 4 years to sort London out , Its all a worry!!

  • Comment number 19.

    sorry lads and lassies I guess I said the wrong thing yet again! Im sure I will get it right in the end|?

  • Comment number 20.

    good job on covering the elections in the united kingdom....

 

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