Broadcaster Jon Snow condemns 'abusive and boring' EU referendum campaign


Broadcaster Jon Snow has criticised both sides of the EU referendum campaign for bad-tempered hurling of abuse and negativity.

The Channel 4 newscaster said he had hoped the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 would have provided a template for how the upcoming vote would be handled, but that has not proved to be the case.

Writing in the Radio Times, he said: "In my reporting life I cannot remember a worse-tempered or more abusive, more boring UK campaign than that which is under way right now.

"Some of us were perhaps fool enough to think that the referendum we witnessed in Scotland in 2014 would provide a template for dealing with a second one on membership of the European Union.

"But the reporting interest this time round has been focused on abuse and intemperate challenging of facts by both sides.

"That is in itself dauntingly boring."

Snow hit out at the focus on name-calling and dismissed the "grandiose claims of unprovable facts", writing that the most interesting parts of the debate have come when ordinary people have voiced their opinions, providing intelligent and reasoned contributions.

He said: "With so few weeks to go before the vote, I believe that the negativity, the bickering, the foul-mouthing, and particularly the wholesale abuse of facts by both sides, have seen off most of our attempts to make the vote interesting.

"And if we in the media are having a problem, think what it must be like for the voter consuming it online, in the press, on radio and on television.

"This is no way to run a chip shop, let alone an interesting and informative campaign for a vote upon which all our futures hang."

:: The Radio Times is on sale from Tuesday.