Jeff Jarvis recently wrote that sending 15,000 journalists to cover a convention is a “shameful waste” and that they are merely “staged events,” etc. I find it ironic that in a year when bloggers and citizen journalists have more access at the conventions and more distribution power than ever, an apostle of CJ dismisses the whole business. Yes, the conventions are staged and yes, the mainstream media often focuses on the trivial or hyped controversies (e.g., “bitter” Hillary supporters who might vote for McCain). But it’s only every four years that the parties have the opportunity to tell their own stories through their leaders and rank-and-file members in something other than 15-second sound bites. What’s wrong with devoting some media attention to these stories? Isn’t it better than more reports about Britney Spears? Let’s not complain when the press gets serious.
Besides, Jeff, look at how much more interesting and innovative the coverage is… Take unglamorous C-Span for example. the network is augmenting
its TV coverage with flip cams for more TV coverage, while using Qik cameras to stream video on the web.
All C-SPAN convention video goes online within minutes of airing, and it can be searched (using the closed captioning), video can be clipped to what bloggers need, and for the first time, embedded. (from The Moderate Voice).
C-Span is getting some good reviews from many quarters in the online tech and political communities, in large part because of its incorporation of social networking platforms that feature voices not often heard in the mainstream media.