Budget day always creates a flurry of excitement in the news. The press hype it by trying to second guess what’s going to change, journalists are desperate to work out what the headlines are and the House of Commons is packed for the most important speech of the year from the Chancellor.
With the speech starting at 12.30, lunchtime TV news cut to it live with summaries rolling across the bottom of the screen and some special programmes. Online, it was tackled in different ways and here are a few examples.
Titled LIVE BLOG: Budget 2011 – this newsite wanted to stress just how up to date they are. The page had a mixture of content, tweets from those using their hashtag, summaries of what Osbourne was saying and videos. I was impressed with the speedy upload of videos as the speech was happening. The one that stood out to me the most was the video below, featuring their Economics Editor, Faisal Islam.
The use of Twitter and the live speech in the background was a good move. The video stream again gave the page an edge, kept it current and gave it a feel of live TV. Without actively encouraging viewers to tweet, the likelihood of them doing so is increased by the fact that Faisal is addressing them visually via the video – the audience feel as though he is talking directly to them. Its great to see UGC at the forefront and I was glad to see it wasn’t all just commentary and the live blog included lots of users’ views.
The Guardian also provided live coverage. Perhaps a more traditional take, with short bursts of commentary from the senior political correspondent, Andrew Sparrow, interspersed with the pinpointing of new topics as they came up in the speech, such as….
1.09pm: Osborne is on education now.
1.12pm: Osborne is talking about pensions.
I was pleased to see that later on they did include some UGC in the form of a summary page of comments and reactions.
The BBC made a budget calculator designed to show you if you would be worse or better off. The interactive element was good and twitter was full of people moaning/boasting about their results. Can it really be taken as accurate though? Surely there are too many individual financial variables?