Left-leaning web-TV misses the point

I can only assume that CampaignTV is trying to be the left-wing response to 18 Doughty Street. It presents itself as ‘the first free to view, independently-owned Labour-supporting internet TV channel’, whilst at the same time recognising its limitations:

CAMPAIGNTV meets the urgent need for a progressive challenge to the dominance of right-leaning political content on the internet. It’s the place to find films making a case for the Labour Party, for trade unions and for other progressive campaigns. We start as a small organisation, with a low-cost site hosting a quality tv player and a selection of quality films. We want to grow and offer more and more programming as the site develops.

There’s a lot wrong from a technical perspective. They declare quite unashamedly: ‘For optimal viewing of CampaignTV, we recommend using Internet Explorers 6 & 7. (Firefox 2.0 is NOT recommended). You should also use Windows Media Player 9 or 10. (Windows Media Player 11 is NOT recommended).’ Based on my own experience at least, ‘not recommended’ actually means ‘not going to work’.

Finally, you reach the content: and it’s a curious mix. They’ve clearly got good connections, given the one-to-one interviews with senior Labour figures including the PM, and footage from official events. Most of it, sadly, is standard corporate-video fare: smiling faces, snappy soundbites, muzak.

Will it engage me as a voter? No. Much as we’ve done with online ad banners, when we stuff like this, clearly over-edited and over-produced, we automatically disengage. People only create material like this when they’re trying to preach at you. And nobody wants to be preached at. Think of it as the difference between a blog and a brochure, but in video form. It’s why Webcameron was working, and why David Miliband is taking the Foreign Office down the same road.

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