Voter apathy forces BBC to review politics output

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The Independent Online

The BBC is to undertake a review of its political coverage in the wake of devolution, voter apathy and evidence that Westminster is a turn-off for the under-35s.

Greg Dyke, the director-general, has ordered a thorough examination of coverage to come up with fresh ideas to engage the viewers in the light of what the BBC sees as a changing political landscape.

"We are reacting to devolution, the shift of power to Europe and voter apathy in the election," a spokesman said.

"It doesn't imply criticism of how we're doing things at the moment. By and large, we had a very good election and Andrew Marr [the BBC's political editor] was praised for the way he made it accessible to viewers. But we want to make sure that the way we report politics remains relevant."

Sian Kevill, the editor of Newsnight, is to head the review which will involve consultation with politicians, academics, viewers and journalists.

* The BBC had its highest midweek ratings for more than five years with England's World Cup football win against Albania. Almost 14 million people watched the game ­ the highest Wednesday night peak viewing figures for the BBC since Christmas Day fell on that day in 1996.

Unofficial overnight figures showed that the audience peaked at 13.9 million, a 51 per cent share of the audience.

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