Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Blogs And Elections

Talk To Tony has a synopsis of web logging's effect on one election. UW Oshkosh Journalism professor Miles Maguire presented "Online Debates: Using the Blog to Promote an Engaged Electorate" at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association last April. Some passages seem to fit in with what we learned in Evansville this Spring.

...Because, like the rest of the Internet, it can be a disintermediating
force, the Web log can create an arena where candidates and voters interact
directly without the distorting effects of the traditional news media or the
formats that may be favored by traditional debate sponsors.

There is scant evidence that the blog format either increased voter
participation or affected voting decisions. But the blog debates demonstrated a
willingness among candidates and voters to engage with new technology as a way
of furthering political debate. Both candidates and voters saw benefits to the
blog format, and there were indications that the blog format could enrich and
improve local political discourse.

Go on over to read the whole post or follow the link to Professor Maguire's paper as a PDF.

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