Sunday, 2 November 2008

Lewis is tops....isn't he?

Lewis Hamilton's F1 World Championship win is the top story tonight...or maybe not, depending on which TV channel you're watching.
While ITV led their news bulletin with Lewis's dramatic victory, the BBC only ran the story at number six.
The reason of course is that ITV are the rights-holders for F1 while the BBC are not (yet). Editorial judgement seldom operates in a vaccuum and this was a classic example of journalistic decisions being influenced by matters of contract, finance and technology.
ITV seized the chance to maximise their exclusive UK rights to live coverage of F1 with a report which included a one-on-one interview with Hamilton and shots inside the McLaren garage. The BBC had to make do with audio of Hamilton lifted from BBC radio and a piece to camera from reporter Adam Parsons which showed so little of Interlagos that it might as well have been shot alongside the M25.
Expect F1 to feature somewhat more prominently on the BBC's news agenda next year - when they take over from ITV as UK rights holders.

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