Tuesday 28 April 2009

Where's Europe Election '09?

It's great to see that the BBC is making the effort to cover the Indian elections more extensively. India is, after all, the biggest democracy in the world.

However it's sad to see that there's no comparable Europe-wide coverage of the European Elections this year, despite the fact that the UK electorate will return MEPs to the European Parliament.

Does the BBC think that the European elections simply aren't a serious public interest matter? Mark Mardell may have a well read blog on Europe, and the BBC does have the Record Europe, but there doesn't seem to be the reporting resources on this election as in the Indian one.

Public Service Broadcasters should inform citizens of the political choices they have in elections - isn't that supposed to be a very basic function of the "fourth estate"? If the BBC and others don't report on anything much except on how low the turnout will be, then of course the turn out will be low - if people don't know why and for what the candidates are running, then why should they vote? Special political programmes tucked away in special political channels, aired in the middle of the night, do not serve the public well.* If something is not discussed on the main channels, then it can hardly be surprising that there aren't that many people who are aware of what's going on, or who know that there's anything to follow up on other channels/the internet.

*Annoyingly, RTÉ seems to do a monthly report on the European Parliament aired only at an ungodly hour - and I'm not sure what day it's on! I didn't even know about it until I stumbled across it. This isn't fulfilling your public service duty, RTÉ!


  1. Sundays for RTÉ i thought? But you are right about BBC and that.

  2. Eurocentric,

    Here is a link to the case:


    The link looks terribly long and complicated. If it does not work, you can try the ECJ http://curia.europa.eu and then search using the parties, the date (28 April 2009) or Cyprus.

  3. Thanks for the link, Grahnlaw.