Saturday 11 December 2010

Blogging about Cancún

An agreement has just been reached in Cancún, which has produced another political agreement, but with no legally binding force over emissions. It's not an event I have been following closely over the last few days - I've been caught up in JHA and the excellent conferences/events - but I've noticed that one of my local MEP's Twitter account lit up.

Bairbre de Brún is a United Left MEP (Sinn Féin) who was part of the EP's delegation to COP 16, and was part of last year's delegation to COP 15 in Copenhagen. Normally Northern Ireland's MEPs' (and candidates') Twitter accounts are fairly inactive, only showing some life around election times, though I've seen some more activity from NI political figures recently. For the trip, de Brún also started to write a blog on the negotiations, talking about some of the issues and the negotiating styles at Cancún.

Environment is an area that is frequently mentioned as something that impacts at local, national, European and international levels, and it's a policy area particularly important in the EU - as Gawain Towler pointed out in the Bloggingportal conference yesterday, the EU affects the light bulbs you can buy, so it does effect people's lives. While lightbulbs might be too small an issue to hold much political or media attention, COP 16 is an example of important events were the EU's politics and position matters, and could be newsworthy. But then perhaps reporting on the negotiations of delegates and the differing positions of other countries and regions is too detailed to be newsworthy. Is blogging a better medium for covering these kinds of big negotiations?


  1. Oddly enough the issue of lightbulbs has taken up far more space in the UK press than Cancun, tabloid and broadsheet alike.

    You see Cancun is a long way away, and talks in hundreds of years and trillions of pounds, this utterly meaningless to all but a self selecting minority.

    Whereas, everybody has lightbulbs, even journalists. Therefore in many ways they are far more important politically than the circus in Mexico.

  2. Good point, lightbulbs are more direct.

    As a side point, I'm really disappointed with rolling news generally: they have all that time, and tend to over-repeat (in my opinion), rather than using it to go more in-depth. I realise that's idealistic and there are good financial reasons (from a purely business point of view) not to spend on extra reporting, but it's hard for me to see the point of endless looping news in an age of the "red button" and the internet.