Home > BBC, Election 2010, journalism, Politics, The Times > What the AV vote says about the media

What the AV vote says about the media

OK, I know the AV referendum is soooo last week, but I beg indulgence, since it was the subject of a refreshingly honest comment by Robert Crampton in yesterday’s Times (behind ₱a¥wa₤₤).

He notes that his borough, Hackney, recorded the highest yes vote of any place in the UK. While throughout the country, about 70 per cent voted No, in Hackney more than 60 per cent voted Yes. Similarly, Islington (56.9 per cent), Haringey , Lambeth, Southwark and Camden all voted Yes.

As was noted by Professor Tony Travers, director of LSE London, in the Evening Standard, all these boroughs form the chaterati heartland of the capital. Indeed, if you wanted to draw a map of such a heartland, it would look pretty much like this (the green bits):

London borough AV referendum results

Just say Yes: Green indicates boroughs voting for AV, pink (50-65%) and red (above 65%) against

It would also stand as a map of London’s mediapolis, where dwell the vast majority of editorial staff encountered in the national media.

Crampton asks the thoughtful question: “What does this statistic [about the Yes vote in Hackney] tell me about my neighbours?” And he truthfully replies:

Quite simply, it tells me that politically, as well as socially, demographically, ethnically, economically, educationally and just about every word ending with -ally I can think of, where I (and an awful lot of other journalists, columnists and commentators) live is radically atypical of the rest of the country.

And the sucker punch:

What we write should be read with this in mind.

Indeed. The sort of thing you should keep in mind when on May 2, you read the BBC political editor Tim Donovan opine:

Clearly, in its size and influence, the London electorate could yet make all the difference.

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