Online reporting of the 2010 UK election

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Experts from Bournemouth University (BU) will host a free symposium in Bournemouth on Friday, 25 June, to reflect on the ‘Online Reporting of the 2010 UK General Election’. The symposium is organised by the University’s Centre for Journalism and Communication Research, based in the University's Media School. This symposium will provide an opportunity for academics, researchers, journalists, bloggers and other interested parties to discuss and reflect upon the role of online news reporting during the May 2010 UK General Election and will hope to resolve many outstanding questions.

The 2010 UK General Election was expected to be a historic milestone and it certainly lived up to promise

Experts from Bournemouth University (BU) will host a free symposium in Bournemouth on Friday, 25 June, to reflect on the ‘Online Reporting of the 2010 UK General Election’.

The symposium is organised by the University’s Centre for Journalism and Communication Research, based in the University's Media School.

This symposium will provide an opportunity for academics, researchers, journalists, bloggers and other interested parties to discuss and reflect upon the role of online news reporting during the May 2010 UK General Election and will hope to resolve many outstanding questions including:

  •     To what extent did online journalism live up to expectations?
  •     How did online reporting compare to rival print and broadcasting journalism?
  •     What role did citizen journalism have in the media landscape during the election?
  •     How have Twitter and Facebook changed the way in which journalists connect with their audiences?
  •     To what extent did journalists use social media, blogs and user-generated content as a source of election news?
  •     What were the strengths and limitations of live blogging?
  •     How did the speed, depth and immediacy of online news impact on the campaign?
  •     To what extent did news organisations succeed in facilitating public debates and comments?
  •     How did online journalism help inform the electorate?

“The 2010 UK General Election was expected to be a historic milestone and it certainly lived up to promise,” said Dr Einar Thorsen, Lecturer in Journalism and Communication at BU who is organising the symposium. “Politically it offered the closest contest in years, returning the first hung parliament since 1974, and a coalition government between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

“The media campaign was groundbreaking too, dominated by the first ever televised prime ministerial debates, hosted by ITV, Sky and the BBC,” Dr Thorsen continued. “Online news reporting in its various guises was, unlike previous elections, no longer just a curious oddity at the fringes of the media landscape, but an essential part of online political journalism.

“Both newspapers and broadcasters invested heavily in election micro-websites, many of which included continuous campaign updates through live blogging,” he concluded. “Journalists used Twitter and Facebook for breaking news or unconfirmed rumours, and also as a valuable source of ‘public sentiment’ and insight into the political process. Ordinary citizens, for their part, used social media to hold politicians and mainstream media to account.”

The symposium ‘Online Reporting of the 2010 UK Election’ will take place on 25 June at Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre, Bournemouth University (BH8 8EB).

The event is free and open to all though pre-registration is requested in advance by emailing Dr Einar Thorsen at ethorsen(at)bournemouth(dot)ac(dot)uk.

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