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Could we have a bit more Cameron and Miliband on BBC News and a bit less Nick Robinson?

By Tim Montgomerie
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Yesterday I commented on David Cameron's impressive performance, outside of Downing Street. It was, I blogged, his best performance since becoming PM. On yesterday's BBC1 6pm news bulletin the PM's message to the nation received just 43 seconds of airtime. Ed Miliband got 23 seconds. Understandably most coverage was given to straight reporting of the riots but there was one person who got a lot of airtime for his perspective; the BBC's Political Editor, Nick Robinson. He got four times as much space on the bulletin.


I have no problem with what Nick Robinson said. What I question is the way punditry and commentary is becoming an increasingly large part of news bulletins. Most of the time it is fair. It was last night. Sometimes it's much more questionable. The big problem is the way it's crowding out direct communication between the country and their politicians. They are increasingly mediated. It was important that, yesterday, the nation heard their Prime Minister. They didn't hear more than a fraction of what he said.

(Nick Robinson's time was a 89 seconds report (with voiceover), a 16 seconds appearance at the end of his report and a 76 seconds appearance at the end of the news).


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