The New Town Hall

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Michele Bachmann speaking to voters in Indianola, Iowa this past summer.
Social media has set a very different tone in the world, impacting numerous things- one of them being presidential campaigns. The Columbia Journalism Review reports that journalists, especially Iowan journalists in the caucus state, are being challenged by less and less personal access to candidates and are dealing with campaigns releasing the same amount of information to everyone. In past years, candidates held town forums, where local journalists and townspeople could go and listen to their arguments and policies concerning the presidency. Now, with the popularity of Twitter, news and announcements are so instantaneous that candidates have apparently felt little need to build grassroots campaigns from the ground up in Iowa.

One tricky side effect sneaking up on journalists is the retweet. Such widespread campaigning with little variety from state to state leads to retweets of candidates, or even competitors. Other uses of Twitter include livetweeting candidate's speeches during the event.

Twitter has definitely made an impact in the political bubble. Journalists need to be much more aware if what they are covering is real news or not. Losing personal addresses from candidates to voters should not fade away because of what technology has brought, but should instead be enhanced by the new technology.

Photo credit/Kate Hayden


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