Watching the Election: The Conventions

September 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

Back in June I blogged about watching coverage of Clinton’s and Obama’s speeches as they vied for the top spot on the Democratic ticket. I had recently discovered Twitter, and I was finding that I was getting better information and insight than I was watching any analysis on CNN, CSPAN, or even PBS or NPR. Folks I follow on Twitter (including some news outlets) were posting links leading to further information, and I was getting better information on FriendFeed, Twitter, and FaceBook.

While watching the coverage of the DNC and the RNC, I again found myself infront of the TV with my laptop simultaneously following my friends on the social networks, and again, I found I was getting more insight and information from the Internet. It have to say that it was a lot more fun, too. The night that Sarah Palin spoke, FriendFeed, Twitter, and even my friends’ FaceBook updates lit up in response. The following night when McCain delievered his acceptance speech, my friend Stacy in Ohio and I were IMing eachother our observations.

There were people Twittering during both conventions. There were alternative news sources tweeting about all of the protests and the police activity around the RNC. I heard nothing about the police raids from CNN or PBS about Amy Goodman’s arrest or the raids on private homes in St. Paul. I learned this from the UpTake’s webcast and Twitter feed.

I am continually inspired by citizen journalism and the movement to reform media. The Chicago New Media Summit is coming up next week, and though I won’t be there, I am eager to learn about the outcome of that event. I’m hoping to learn about more alternative news services as the election approaches. Meanwhile, I’m planning on watching the election returns on The Daily Show’s Indecision 2008, as well as continuing to get information from my Twitter feed.

While I am discouraged by the political discourse that is reflected on mainstream television, I look to my social networks to be reminded that there is a majority of people in this world who, like me, want to get information out there about what is really going on in American politics, and raise the level of political discourse above the drivel that the conservative media is feeding us.

Watching the Election

June 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

Tuning into the coverage Clinton’s and Obama’s speeches last night, I must say that the best analysis was coming from Twitter. All of the major news outlets had uploaded their stories about the respective candidates, citing Clinton’s shortcomings and offering analysis about why she failed, and trumpeting Obama’s clinching the nomination.

What I had just watched on TV and what I was finding on the Internet just didn’t match.

I confess, I bought into the media hype like everyone else, and I was totally expecting Clinton to concede. I haven’t been paying attention to much of either her campaign or Obama’s, and I haven’t watched much of the debates over the last five months because I like them both and I can’t stand to see them get ugly at each other. I was excited for all of this to come to an end so that the dems could stop being so divisive.

I found myself surprised at my response when she did not concede: I was really delighted and proud.

I thought her speech was great, and although she didn’t offer an endorsement of Obama, I thought she offered some incredibly gracious words that over the long term may actually unite her supporters and his.

This was the story, and I was getting no satisfaction from the ready-made stories from the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press. It was so obvious that the major news outlets had already written what they intended to publish, and it reflected what they had expected to happen, not what actually had happened. And live TV was not much better! The pundits were so confused and did not know what to make of what had happened. I was left very unsatisfied.

I was honestly getting better coverage and analysis from Twitter. I was more interested in the spontaneous reactions from my Twitter friends, to the news and to each other than anything the pundits had to say.

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