After a day of Presidential pandemonium it’s not hard to focus on the media coverage of this year’s U.S Election.
With such fanfare about the campaign on its own the coverage of the actual election was due to be intense, with most Australian networks beginning their rolling coverage at 11 this morning. All except for network Ten who were showing Huey’s Cooking Adventures while the race was decided.
Ten claim to have chosen to do this in order to provide an alternative to the election coverage however it represents the fragmented priorities of a network who are struggling to find a stable ratings path. It’s a far cry from the News Revolution which took place in 2011 before quickly falling apart. With expanding hours of news and more local and international coverage than ever today’s lack of commitment marks a sad return to the less than admirable status the network’s news division held previously.
While Nine, Seven, the ABC and even SBS hosted over five hours of on going coverage, Ten stuck to its usual schedule with updates throughout the day, and although the network argues they wanted to offer an alternative to their rivals, the number of secondary channels available today would have offered more than enough choice.
It comes as Ten prepares to make a significant number of jobs redundant in its newsrooms around the country. The network has seen a dramatic reduction in ratings and profitability since 2011 and has struggled to make sustainable programming decisions throughout the year.