Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is the BBC backing Cameron?

In announcing the final day of campaigning before the London mayoral, Assemblies and 159 council are elected, the BBC have chosen an interesting way to visualise the contest. The composite picture of the three main party leaders does little in the way of favours to anyone but Cameron. Given Brown now has employed former BBC producer Nicola Burdett as a sort of style guru managing media picture selection, is this the BBC rebelling or a bit of bias towards David Cameron and the Conservatives?

Just to check perceptions I asked an unwitting young person what they thought of the party leaders based on these pcitures. Brown was described as 'old, ugly, squeezing and invisible err 'breast' (ok unwitting young person was male), but less amusing for Gordon, said male yout also thought he looked 'uncaring and uncompassionate... I wouldn't vote for him'. Clegg was 'snobby', 'needs a shave' and 'remote' though he also asked who he was and if he was a Conservative. Cameron seemed like 'a nice guy', 'I'd vote for him'. Why, well the photos offer perceptions, Cameron's photo shows him lookign straight at the camera, not down at it, so he is 'on the level' not in a position of authority, he is smiling unlike the other two, he looks normal. Is this accident or conspiracy, if I was the PR team of Clegg or Brown I would complain!


Anonymous said...

if your unwitting young male isn't a voter who cares what he thinks, he seems totally uninformed.

Darren G Lilleker said...

That was quick to get a response. Two points in reply, firstly he is a voter and is actually going back to London tonight to vote in his local council and the Mayoral Election. He is also voting Conservative locally, as he prefers Cameron generally, but for Ken as Mayor as he agrees with Boris's critics who call him a joke. He is actually fairly well informed, though did not recognise Clegg and thought he was, as all I showed was the photo, a local Conservative MP. This was not that negative a remark, more that is now he came across as he has met a few.

Broader point is, well this is not scientific or meant to be, the picture shocked me in the way it was composed. I asked said student what he thought and we had a chat about it and I explained what it was and why I asked etc, etc. It may be indicative of a widespread reaction and, regardless of that, questions the lack of bias at the BBC. I think few could argue with the point that the photo does not offer a positive impression of two of the candidates