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Election Connection

Feeling Like You're There


Whether it's a text message response from a friend or a photo of Sen. Barack Obama giving his acceptance speech the moment it begins, one of the most incredible things about the web is the power of instant gratification.

Using the mobile blogging platform Twitter, hundreds of journalists, bloggers, delegates, and politically engaged citizens were giving blow-by-blow takes about the Democratic nomination event at Denver's Invesco Field Thursday night. From the wait in line under the hot sun, to the crazy hats many supporters had made themselves, to the celebrities spotted on the floor, to what kind of junk food they were selling in the stands, no detail was left unsaid.

All this may seem like minutia compared to a live broadcast of the speeches, but put all together, like in Poynter's DNCjournalists feed, and it gives an intriguing glimpse of what was really going on, and how similar or different reporters' immediate impressions of the event were.

Here's a taste of what some were saying:

Garrett Graff: Press section not participating in Stevie Wonder sing-a-long or flag-waving during "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

NewsHour: Concession stands are taking off the caps of bottled water so people don't throw them.

But the non-stop "twittering" and live blogging on sites like Huffington Post and can also fuel rumors, since there's no time to fact check. And in some ways the constant pressure to create commentary takes away from a reporters' experience at the event. From a personal standpoint, my twitters @laura_pbs got fewer and further between as the night went on - there can be as much meaning in not reporting instantly as there is in giving the play-by-play.








2 Comments

vrb116 said:

I was sick as a dog last night and actually caught videos of last night on the Web this morning. Who needs TV?
PS Twitter now has a competitor, including identi.ca amoung others... http://identi.ca/.


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PBS Engage, public broadcasting's social media initiative, and PBS Vote 2008 are finding the best elections content from across public media and our partners and bringing it to you. We're following the campaigns and highlighting in-depth coverage. Feel free to leave a comment, send us an e-mail, or suggest a topic!
 
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