The general election was covered by UEA’s Media Collective, comprimsed of Concrete, UEA:TV and Livewire 1350.
The societies gathered at nine pm in the office, ready to cover whatever the next twelve hours had to throw at them. All members had their positions assigned, shifts on the spreadsheet and nervously awaited the ten pm exit poll announcement.
The SU bar was packed from ten pm with students cheering every time Corbyn appeared on the BBC. There was a similar amount of noise when the exit poll predicted a hung parliament and the screen was obscured by someone opening the TV guide, but it wasn’t exactly cheering that time.
I spent the night tapping away on my keyboard in the Red Bar updating the live blog. Between the blog and Twitter updates Concreteís coverage reached the tens of thousands in views. Both were updated between ten pm to five am with the highs and lows of the night, from Clive Lewis winning the Norfolk South seat for Labour to Lord Buckethead standing proudly beside Theresa May.
Livewireís Tom Cooke, who interviewed students throughout the night, thought the Media Collectiveís coverage of the election was a massive success. He said people had approached him and praised “the Media Collective and their efforts.” A particular success of the night was the projector showing the seats won across the UK which was projected onto the square and was “a huge hit.”
He added: “Everything went smoothly enough, thanks to Tom Rees’ [Livewire Online] masterminding, and the presenters of both radio and TV were fantastic, professional and informed – due to the efforts of the larger collective’s research teams” who worked together to cover the night.
UEA:TV’s William Shears said: “It was really great fun, an awesome experience” and was pleased by one of the UEA:TV video’s reaching “13,000 views”, since being released on election night. Videos such as “Would you spoon Jeremy Corbyn?” and a party leaders themed “snog, marry, avoid: were released late into the night and the early hours of Friday morning reflecting UEA students reactions.
If you asked me at 4am on election night what I thought of the Media Collective, I wouldn’t have been able to form a sentence. Six hours into live blogging and my expert quips on our unravelling political system had begun to falter.
The bar was emptying but the Media Collective were still working.
Video’s were edited at five am, shows put on throughout the night, and live bloggers waited eagerly for Amber Rudd’s seat announcement even though it came three hours later than predicted.
As the the sun rose in the early hours of morning, there was only one word to describe the Media Collective: dedicated.