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BBC News increasingly desperate for non-election stories

The news room is well-stocked with general election stories right now.  Party press offices are spewing out media opportunities, propaganda and policy tit-bits at a rate of knots.   There are plenty of election stories, non-stories and scandals (real and imagined) to fill the news bulletins.

The dilemma is how to balance the furious electioneering with something a bit more light-hearted. On the local news, it is fairly easy. Cat stuck up tree. Tree stuck up cat. Man immersed in beans/prawns/sewage to raise money for charity/motorhome/dying relative. Local businessman banged up again. Local issues with cladding/waiting lists/housing issues. No problem. But finding non-election stores at national level is harder.

Editors have been advised to try and find fun stories about, for example, animals, the environment, historical sex abuse scandals, and funny shaped vegetables (as long as there is a national context). If desperate, they are advised to run stories about anniversaries (85 years since the invention of string) or ‘national-day-of’ stories or things they found on TikTok.

The final option is to admit defeat - run the election stories, and then end the news bulletin twenty minutes early.  And then fill the gap with the potter’s wheel or the test card. The public will be grateful. And somebody might win a Bafta.

image from pixabay

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