How the BBC has made local voices heard this election

How the BBC has made local voices heard this election

July 2, 2024 – “Over the last few weeks our BBC Local services across online, radio and television have been at the centre of the BBC’s General Election coverage.

“I have the privilege of leading our teams across England and between now and Election day, it is our duty to make sense of what the candidates are saying, holding them to account on their manifesto pledges and, most importantly, ensuring our audiences’ voices are heard.

“That’s what makes BBC Local so unique. Our teams are living and breathing the local issues that mean most to people day-to-day. Our audience research consistently shows people are more likely to vote on issues that impact them where they live.

One election, 650 local ballots

“That’s why, as we approach polling day this week, across BBC Local we see the General Election, not just as a national vote, but as 650 individual ballots across the country. We are working across every platform to tell these distinctive stories – supported by our 39 local news team across England.

“Together, our local storytelling reaches almost half the adult population every week across Local Radio, BBC Sounds, our 6.30pm regional news programmes, BBC One’s Sunday Politics, BBC News Online, BBC iPlayer and social platforms.

BBC local online news at the heart of the debate

“This year, we’ve strengthened our local online coverage to ensure you can keep up with the local election story wherever you are. In all, more than 130 additional journalists are supporting our coverage – delivering daily updates and special investigative features.

“The impact with audiences has been remarkable – with over 16m users accessing our local online coverage each week. In May, traffic to BBC Local news online was up almost 4m or 30% on the same month last year.

Your Voice, Your Vote

“Our focus for any election coverage is always our audience. That why we have worked with colleagues in BBC News to deliver Your Voice, Your Vote to hear, firsthand issues and concerns from where our audiences live.

“Not only does it give us stories uploaded directly to our teams to cover, it also helps inform and shape the topics we cover in the run up to the election. It’s been an invitation to voters to tell us what’s on their mind, whether that’s Julie from Grimsby who had a clear message for politicians on housing and social care for people with disabilities or people discussing immigration in Boston and Skegness.

39 BBC Local debates

“To help bring local election issues to the heart of the debate, we’ve also been holding live election debates in all 39 local areas across England.

“Our first was for the Mid Bedfordshire constituency and it demonstrated exactly how we our holding local candidates to account and ensuring voters questions are answered.

“Each local debate has been available on BBC iPlayer with coverage across our regional news programmes, our Sunday Politics programme and on our Socials as well as live Online pages, giving audiences the chance to react and have their say.

Local insight for a national audience

“We’re also continuing to work closely with our colleagues across Network News to make sure local issues are being heard nationally with our Local Political Reporters appearing on the BBC 6 O’clock News. Every day, two reporters from across the country have been on the programme bringing their expert local knowledge and insight to a national audience.

“On social media we are fully focused on making sure we are hearing from our audience to bring them the trusted information they need. Whether that is ping-pong ball politics in Greater Manchester or vox-popping voters in South East London on local issues.

“Our teams across England are out there everyday speaking to voters. BBC Oxford’s Clodagh Stenson is doing so from her narrowboat seeking out issues concerning voters along the way.

Results night

“Later this week, we’ll be covering the results from 10pm on Thursday all the way through to the last declaration at some point on 5 July.

“Our BBC Local Radio stations will of course provide a full results service through the night, but we’ll also be offering 43 local online news services overnight across England as well as comprehensive coverage on each of our regional TV news Programmes and analysis on our Sunday Politics programmes. Throughout our results coverage there will be multiple ways for our audiences to engage and make their voices heard across BBC Local.” – Jason Horton, Director of Production, BBC Local


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