Monday 12 August 2013

Becoming the news

I'm seeing some strange parallels between the coverage of the Australia v England cricket match, and the Chess World Cup from Norway. Obviously the speed of both matches is pretty much the same (around 6 hours of play), and both have lots of slow sections punctuated with moments of high excitement. But the real parallel seems to be the trend to rely upon viewer input to 'pad out' the news.
Twitter has become the 'go to' method of communicating between viewer and commentator. A lot of the cricket coverage (mainly during the breaks in play) is given over to answering viewer tweets. And when I turned on the chess coverage from Norway, the first thing I saw a viewer tweet on screen, with the commentators discussing it.
To be fair to both events, viewer involvement  is probably a plus, as long as it in small doses. So long as it adds to the commentary, rather than dominates or controls it, which I fear is where commercial "news" may sadly be headed.

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