Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Lobby briefing will not be televised

It has long been felt, mostly by those who do not hold membership of it, that the Lobby briefing system run by Number 10 needs to be reformed. This tension between journalists and politicos as well as the ebb and flow in desire for change is well documented in Lance Price's excellent book, Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v the Media.

Guido Fawkes has been a high profile advocate of reform while, towards the end of Gordon Brown's term as PM, a formal review was undertaken, suggesting better access be given to bloggers but also televising the exchanges between journalists and the Prime Minister's spokesman.

White House briefings have long been televised which has led to the events becoming a war of attrition between the network reporters, trying to get a story for that evening's news, and the Press Secretary of the day attempting not to make a mistake.

Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs decided to try something a bit different. He stayed on the record but went off air. The result? Open and honest exchanges between reporters and Gibbs. There is a brilliant summary of the informal exchanges from the Washington Post here.

Maybe a lesson for us in the UK? In the media world most of what we consume and the trends we see come from the US. This isn't necessarily always a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and I will be interested in what you have to say.