BBC on a bus and box road trip
This must be the week for the BBC to paint its logo on very large objects and send them off on ambitious journeys. You've already heard from Jeremy Hillman about 'The BBC Box,' a shipping container that will be used as a very creative way of illustrating global commerce over the next twelve months. The box was loaded onto a container ship in Southampton on Monday. It has now left the port of Greenock near Glasgow and is heading for China with Scotch whisky as its first payload.
The 'BBC Elections Bus' has also been sent on a 38 day journey across America, beginning in Los Angeles and ending in New York's Times Square. The bus is a project spearheaded by the BBC World Service, and includes journalists from every corner of the organisation: radio, language service, TV, and online.
I'm personally most looking forward to following what happens on the bus on the BBC News website. Two online journalists will be full-time bus riders; Jon Kelly will be blogging continuously throughout the journey, while Jennifer Copestake, a member of my World News America team, will be keeping a video diary of the trip.
What's the point of the BBC Bus? It is NOT to follow the presidential candidates or chronicle the 'who's up, who's down" horserace aspects of the contest for the White House. It IS to find out what's on the minds of Americans in all parts of this huge country during a historic election season; to see what issues matter most to citizens of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico...to gauge the real impact of the economic slump and housing crisis on families in Oxford, Mississippi...to find out how people in the 'oil patch' of Texas are coping with - or profiting from - higher oil prices.
It's going to be a fascinating trip, so jump aboard.
NB. Thanks to those sharp eyes that noticed I spelt whisky the American way - 'whiskey' - mistake now corrected.