Politics–if you listen, stories will bubble up

Posted on 10. Oct, 2007 by in Audio, Uncategorized


Politics: Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake; Micah Sifry of Tech President;
Mike Krempasky of Redstate. Moderator: Micah Sifry

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake:

“What happened with the Libby trial is we had had so many readers interested in the case, stacks of court files, people saying conflicting things. We developed a group of people obsessed with the case who would go through all the stuff. When it came time for the trial we had a group of core people with such a knowledge base, that we became the people to go to, to analyze testimony for consistency, for factualness. Many of the journalists admitted that they followed the case through our live blogging. It wasn’t something we set out to do. If you listen to community stories will bubble up.

The conversation shifted to how to find a way to give bloggers the ability to work with a newspaper to have their own section of the spaper where their combined news judgment can be reflected: an alternative front page, where news story could have annotations from bloggers.

Jim Willse of The Star-Ledger said his paper is working on that.

“I’m looking for new ways to serve the people who want to take part in the election,” he said. “There are techniques that can make a local election come alive. Typically if you’re running for mayor or zoning board or school board, you can’t reach the people in your town. They debate in church baement or school cafeteria. It’s not really a vibrant, alive election. We can provide things like using video. We can stage video debates. We can do searchable databases on campaign spending that you can look at when you feel like it. We can offer video spots free. And we can stage interactive conversations. You can be online and everybody gets a shot at you. It allows a media entity to breathe life and interest and accessible information into local elections. I think it’s very exciting.”

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