You might be completely over the election by now. It is perhaps the last thing you want to hear about but we are very much deep in the analysis; trying to understand what the hell happened.
The election campaign demonstrated how easy lies are sometimes more compelling than complicated truths. The Labour Party might feel that they underestimated the importance of Brexit but that’s not really why they lost.
The whole election was dogged by falsehood and media manipulation. Take the story about a 4 year old lying ill on a hospital floor and the story about a member of the public punching a political aide. One story which was true got accused of being fake and the other turned out to be untrue. When real news is accused of being fake news and fake news heralded as true we need to take a long hard look at ourselves, our media, our politics and society.
The need for robust, critical thinking and high quality journalism and broadcasting has never felt more important. One of the projects we’re currently working on has been remote shadowing voters in the run up to what turned out to be a unique democratic event. Themes of trust, misinformation and confirmation bias have unsurprisingly featured throughout our ethnography. We hope that through this work we can help combat fake news and enable more considered, truthful media output for the new decade.
This month, Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez won the Financial Times Book of the year award. It looks at gender data gaps and touches on policy making. This article from the LSE British Politics and Policy blog takes a closer look at the manifestos to find out how different parties committed to address the concerns of women voters before the election.
In this scathing review of both main UK parties, Author, Jenni Russell writing for the New York Times outlines the predicament facing British voters. “Cunning politicians can skip accountability, and British broadcasting’s rules on impartiality and balance, by going straight for the voters’ emotional jugular. In place of public and professional scrutiny there’s Twitter and Facebook, where millions of micro-targeted messages are flooding key voters.” nytimes.com
Tortoise Media are trying to bring about a different, more thoughtful type of news. This article tracks and visualises the falsehoods from this election campaign and left us wondering how the media can provide fact-checking to ensure political parties play fair and truthfully and how effective that would be against voter’s cognitive biases.
This set of reports from Loughborough University provides commentary about each week’s media coverage of the election and systematic measurements of which politicians and parties received the most coverage, the proportion of negative and positive coverage of candidates and parties, which issues received greatest prominence and the amount of coverage given to the election.
We close the studio for 2 weeks over the Christmas period. It’s our chance to reflect on some of our achievements over the past year, including a DBA award and being nominated as a BIMA finalist for our work with the Red List of Endangered Species.
We’ve completed impactful projects that we’re very proud of. Our workplace practice has redesigned a Call Centre and the offices of a Global Tech Firm. Our Service Design practice has designed new financial services and redesigned grocery shopping and future broadcasting concepts. We’ve done design research into holidays, children’s entertainment and of course the general election.
The team has grown, with four new Mods joining the ranks in 2019 and another set to join us in early 2020. We’ve moved to a bigger studio in London.
The winter holiday will be a chance to recharge and return to a new decade to continue creating a more Human future; to keep making meaningful improvements to Modern life; to keep imagining what’s next.
We hope you want to continue with us on that journey in 2020. Please share Modernity with your friends and colleagues. Remember to connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter too.