Friday, December 23, 2011

Belittling the Gods of Youtube

The BBC has been looking at the hit rates of various politicians on Youtube and has discovered something a little odd, well at least to them.
According to research conducted by the BBC - adding up the five most watched appearances by each of a series of high profile UK politicians - Mr Hannan and his fellow MEP, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, are the two most viewed UK politicians on YouTube at the moment.
Obviously this isn't because people are eurosceptic, not at all,
According to one media expert, the popularity of the Hannan and Farage clips do not suggest YouTube users are necessarily anti-European but that they, and people in general, like "someone powerful being brought down a peg or two".
Rubbish, it is a combination of the two. Hannan's famous attack on Gordion Brown was popular in part becasue nobody in the House of Common's would have dared say such a thing, and they would have been shouted down if they dared.

Also looking at the figures they are talking about they are rather downplaying the level of coverage
For example this,
The speech in which he likened the new president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, to a "damp rag" and claimed no-one knew who he was - a tirade for which he was later fined and forced to apologise - has been watched nearly 865,000 times.
 What they are reffering to is  the EUXTV version of the speech (today with 874,000 hits), but here is another version of the same speech, with 163,00 hits.

And of course the big daddy of them all the Auto tune version of the speech which to fate has over 3 million hits.

The European Parliament is in some ways just made for YouTube. The speeches are uninterrupted (well they look that way goven the way the microphones are set). A speaker has a set, short time to speak and that is it.

Equally the European Parliament has in recent months managed to get the videos of the speeches up online in pretty short order, pleanry speeches are downloadable now within an hour of the speeches being made (Committee speeches take a little longer).

But the bottom line here, why is it that two staunchly Eurosceptic figures with precious little access to mainstream media top the YouTube? Well what the BBC have failed to do is to look where the hits are coming from. In the case of Hannan, most are from the US where he has become a pouplar commentator. Inthe case of Farage upwards of half his hits copme from across the EU itself, where he is beggining to be seemn as the only serious voice of opposition to their own pro-European political establishments.

Yes they are both watched in the UK, far more than more mainstream politicians, and that is almost entirely due to their political prespective (and the fact that in a very dull firmanaent of political actors the two of them have oratorical skills). Why. It is simple really, the mainstream media reflects the Westminster political bubble and thuis fails to touch the population at large. It's issues are the issues of the establishment, its concerns are those of SW1 and NW1. Hanna and Farage speak to the wider public who's fears and concerns are little marked on the pages of our broadsheets and in the news rooms of our TV stations.

So it should come as no surprise that when the BBC describe Hannan and Farage as little known they fail to add the postscript, to us.

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