The YouTube debate as mass media

On KQED Forum on Friday, David Weinberger noted that the YouTube debate, drew more from the conventions of mass media than the web. The questions came from citizens, but the candidates answered in soundbite format, with minimal follow-up, and the answers were subjected to talking-head punditry. The YouTube debate was a fine news hook for discussion of web politics. Meanwhile, the interesting action, it seems to me, is in local/regional politics.
Firedoglake has a weekly series where progressive candidates talk to the community, and donations are solicited via ActBlue. Recent studies have shown that MoveOn’s get out the vote efforts actually got out the vote; the next step is peer GOTV. Once the Netroots help candiates get elected, the next step is accountability. On Calitics, bloggers are calling out Jerry McNerney, who was elected with tremendous netroots support, for voting against medical marijuana. The legacy of the Dean campaign, it seems to me, is less about bloggers covering presidential campaigns and more about activists building the 50 state grass roots base.

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