New Campaign Coverage

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Presidential campaign coverage may look a little different here in 2011 and into 2012 than it has in previous elections. An article on Mashable reports that more Republican candidates are reaching out through media outlets, specifically social media, instead of appearing in public town halls and other campaigns.

The Des Moines Register shows that the appearances in Iowa by GOP candidates is low and that is affecting how local journalists can stay on top of coverage. Iowa, being the first state to caucus, is usually heavily targeted by candidates because of the implications that Iowa's vote has on the rest of the caucuses and primaries.

Kathie Obradovich, the Register's political columnist, says "It's hard to find candidates interacting with voters in a real natural way." She has been covering presidential campaigns for 15 years, and says that campaign tactics have recently changed from town hall gatherings to Twitter.

Journalists have to react to this change and take advantage of the immediacy that Twitter and other social media sites provide. Additionally, Twitter forums allow for participation and questions from readers. Obradovich, for example, has begun live tweeting campaign events.

With the changing platforms for news outlets, journalists need to make sure that they react quickly and use these platforms to their upmost potential.

photo courtesy of Creative Commons


Jessalyn Holdcraft December 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM  

I think that we forget that as reporting changes, such as the advent of citizen journalism and the usage of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, so does how the rest of the world uses it. President Barack Obama utilized social media outlets to campaign in 2008. With his results, it's no surprise that other candidates are finding ways to put these sites to good use. Although Twitter meetings aren't as easy to cover as traditional town hall meetings, journalism is an adapt or die kind of career. Just as journalists are transitioning from primarily print to online news, so will they find new ways to cover virtual events.

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