Unless you’ve been living in a bubble the last week, you won’t have failed to notice all the media coverage the 2010 general election is getting. With speculation on the date rising, Gordon Brown finally announced May 6th as the date on Tuesday this week.
Already, we’ve seen three episodes of the BBC 10 O’clock news stretch ten minutes longer than scheduled to get all the coverage in. Practically every other news bulletin is, in some way, connected to the other. The papers are picking which party to support. It’s madness, and we’ve still four weeks to go.
On Wednesday, there were a couple of papers sitting in the staff canteen at work. I picked up the Sun, which was basically ‘vote Conservative, we can’t have another five years of Labour, they’ve screwed the country up and we need SuperDave to fix it’. Then I picked up the Mirror, which was all, ‘vote Labour, the Tories are incompetant fools and will only screw the country up more just as Labour are beginning to get us to recovery.’ I put them both down and laughed.
You might be old enough to remember the 1992 election and the ‘Sun wot won it’ headline the day after the Tories secured their last term in power. I wasn’t; I’m a first time voter this year and my polling card came in the post this morning. There’s no doubt the media will be as important as ever in deciding the election outcome. Facebook and Twitter are prime canvassing areas to reach the younger generation, with support groups and pages for all the major parties. There’s even a ‘get the Lib Dems into power’ page, based off the whole Rage Against The Machine campaign last Christmas.
I’ve got several friends fed up of the election coverage anyway, mainly because they’re too young to vote. I know we as a nation need to be informed about what’s going on, but there is such a thing as overkill. In the words of my younger sister, we need a major disaster to steal the headlines from the election.
It’s important, don’t get me wrong. It’s being billed as the tightest race in a generation, and in this media-savvy world, we want information on demand and we get it. It just seems that we’re getting so hyped up about it already that in four weeks time we’ll be massively apathetic to the whole cause.