To be a really big story on television you need to have pictures. That just talking heads are considered boring was perfectly illustrated last night on Melbourne’s commercial television news. That day’s inflation figures, which had earnest economists preaching of interest rate doom to come, for example, was story number six on the Nine bulletin.

Rated as more interesting at number five by the Nine news director was Kevin Rudd, Federal Opposition Leader, pledging $1 billion to fix two of Melbourne’s most congested roads, the Western Ring Road and the West Gate Bridge. Traffic clogged roads are easy to illustrate.

Up in Sydney where they did not have a rattling good yarn about a murder charge against a mum being scrapped and the dispute over the late Peter Brock’s will was not all that interesting because he was a Mexican, interest rates did lead the way on the networks including Nine.

So for once it was Sydney tackling the serious issue while Melbourne stuck with the things that really interest people.

It will take time and a good deal of repetition before the impact of what rising inflation really gets through to people.

Still the inflation story was enough to guarantee Labor the win on the day without having had to do anything to earn it. Call it a campaign free kick.

Coalition ALP
Television 1.12 2.11
Newspapers 0.00 0.46
Radio 0.14 0.47
Internet 0.00 0.21
TOTAL 1.26 3.26

You will find details of the way the Daily Verdict is compiled, with the help of raw material provided by our friends at Media Monitors, on the Crikey website.