ANALYSIS: THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION - Do you think the eclipse was over-hyped?

Last week’s solar eclipse received extensive media coverage leading up to the event.

Last week’s solar eclipse received extensive media coverage leading

up to the event.

MARK NICHOLSON, Cornwall County Council

’If you had asked on 10 August, as we counted well over double our usual

number of tourists, I would not have been sure. Now, having witnessed

the spectacle from the Eclipse Media Centre on the Lizard peninsula -

the clouds parted and we were privileged to watch every effect we read

about for months - I can definitely say that, if anything, we undersold

the experience. This was, without doubt, the most memorable press event

I have ever been involved in.’


’It was horribly over-hyped and under-attended. The media tried to whip

up a storm. There was also a lack of understanding at the county council

as to how the public would react. The whole event was only marginally

saved by the magical experience of one minute and 55 seconds of


KRISTEN LIPPINCOTT, Royal Observatory, Greenwich

’No, not at all. The weather demonstrated you can’t rely on the sky to

do what you want, but now people know how hard it is to be an

astronomer. From our perspective, there was a lot of misinformation

which caused problems. The medical expert who advised against wearing

the eclipse glasses meant many risked damaging their eyesight or didn’t

dare look at all. The very idea that people should watch such a

phenomenal celestial event on television rather than experience the real


HOWELL JAMES, Brown Lloyd James

’The level of coverage the eclipse attracted indicated that, if it was

hyped, it deserved to be. This was a real event - no PR company was

behind it, and it touched millions of people’s lives. Unlike other

natural phenomenons - volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes and huge storms

- we knew when and where it was going to happen, so it merited its



’Not if you were a Cornish camp site owner or an eclipse festival

organiser, but for me, yes.The coverage was extensive for some days

before and continued long after. As there was no guarantee we would see

the eclipse clearly, you can only marvel at the level of hype. As

Gillian Reynolds of the Daily Telegraph wrote, this was an event best

enjoyed on the radio.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in