[London, ENGLAND] Online community iVillage UK launched
Wednesday its news and political channel for women, with
online polls, message boards and expert commentary.
A joint venture between the U.S. women’s network iVillage.com
and British retailer Tesco, iVillage UK is breaking new
ground with its latest online content. Publishers normally keep
to the tried and tested subjects of home, beauty, sex, food
and fitness when they address the female sector in the U.K.
However, Tina Gaudoin, editorial director of iVillage UK,
made the point that women are empowered by exercising choice.
“From instruction on how to campaign and techniques for
lobbying MPs, to provocative opinion from a team of leading
experts and journalists, this channel provides a forum for
women to make their voices heard,” said Gaudoin.
Other channels on iVillage UK include Computers & Internet,
Diet & Fitness, Food, Horoscopes & Astrology,
Pregnancy & Baby, Relationships, and Work & Career.
The new political channel has already stirred up some
controversy by highlighting the fact that Prime Minister
Tony Blair has turned down an offer to answer questions
from women voters online. By contrast, leaders of the
opposition parties, William Hague and Charles Kennedy,
have both agreed to take part.
“By ignoring the women that voted for him, Blair is
reinforcing the findings of a recent report from the
Fawcett Society that claimed he was losing his appeal
with women voters,” says a somewhat irate announcement
from iVillage UK.
So is iVillage UK overtly Conservative?
Tesco heiress Dame Shirley Porter has long since retired
from being Conservative leader of London’s Westminster
Council, but it would be surprising if either Tesco or
iVillage UK were to take an anti-Labour Party stance
on the verge of an election.
Among the feature articles being offered currently on
iVillage.co.uk are some that claim to “uncover Government
secrets.” On closer examination, the “secrets” refer to
the Profumo scandal under the Conservative government
of Harold Macmillan
Profumo? Surely there is nothing newsworthy or currently
political in the Profumo scandal. Any interest in it today
is on account of sex. Could it be that iVillage is spicing up
its political coverage with a few of the “tried and tested
subjects” after all?