Monday, July 04, 2011

Will You Tube change pollie-speak

The talk Jenny Wilson gave to the ACS-TSA policy forum noted how our first use of technology is modelled on previous use, and then changes. For example, television was originally radio with pictures, the camera stayed stationary and news was read.

TV has adapted, in drama and entertainment the camera moves, and in news a clip to accompany the story has become all important. Once changed you can't go back.

The importance of television in politics has become clear since the mid 1960s. But it has only been in the last decade that the mission for a politician has been to repeat the same sound bite multiple times to try to ensure that the clip used for the news includes the "key message".

More recently satire shows like the 7pm Project will show edited bits from a press conference that shows the key phrase being repeated. Julia Gillard's "moving forward" from the announcement of the last election is one of the most famous.

More recently a journalist in the UK had the experience of Labour leaser Ed Millibrand providing the same answer to six different questions. Works well if the news is limited to finding one sound bite - but the whole thing on YouTube is embarrassing.

Memo to all media advisers - you need to catch up with the technology and be able to brief the spokesperson to be able to answer the questions better. The old "phrase of the day" will end in ridicule.

PS Note to Julia Gillard - "ripping up the NBN" is one you need to walk away from now. Actually the message of "stopping the NBN" will be more effective once some have it and others don't.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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