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'Election Coverage in the Broadcast Media' (Policy and Practice)

Publication date: Sep 30, 2013 11:57 AM

Start: Nov 21, 2013 05:30 PM
End: Nov 21, 2013 07:00 PM

Location: Medical Sciences 131 AV Hill LT Medical Sciences building, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT

'Election coverage in the broadcast media'

David Cowling

david cowling

David Cowling, BBC’s editor for political research and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College, will be talking about the changes and challenges in covering general elections and plans for covering the 2015 General Elections. Special attention will be given to the impact of polling and social media on election reporting and coverage. His talk will conclude with a frank discussion of how political research 'works' at the BBC and the challenges of reporting on specific events. 

David Cowling has worked with three opinion poll companies: NOP (from whom he received training in all aspects of market research) and MORI and Harris Research with both of whom he specialised in political opinion polling. He was Special Adviser to the Rt. Hon Peter Shore MP 1977-79, when he was Secretary of State for the Environment. He worked as Mr Shore’s assistant in the Commons 1979-86 when he was Shadow Foreign Secretary and Shadow Chancellor.
In 1986, he was appointed as the first Political Analyst for Independent Television News. In this role he provided briefings for journalists across a wide range of political issues, as well as working directly on a variety of local and general election results programmes. In 1999, he joined the BBC as Editor, Political Research, managing a small team of researchers who provide extensive background briefings for journalists and programme-makers via an intra-net site, accessible to everyone in the BBC. He has specialised in opinion poll research – both interpreting published polls as well as assisting in the commissioning of polls by the BBC itself – and all forms of elections – local, parliamentary, European, Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies, directly-elected Mayors and Police & Crime Commissioners. He has collected extensive amounts of detailed information on these elections that I have then interpreted for colleagues.
He has played an active role in general election television results programmes since 1987 and in each one be has been closely involved in the development and production of exit polls. During the course of his work with both ITN and the BBC, he has appeared in television and radio interviews in which he has tried to interpret political events for the audience.
In August 2013, he was appointed Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College, London University.

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