It is a YouTube world…

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I have ponder how, in just a few years, the Internet has evolved from a promise of change to a real force in citizen media. Not all the changes are easy to grasp and understand nor is every feature of the new media world is positive. Certainly not every voice adds positively to the conversation and some use their new found power to confuse and distract rather than evolve and inform.

I am struck, however, that some plainly refuse to understand that the new media exists. Witness:

Republican presidential nominee John McCain seems to misunderstand that today’s statement to Good Morning America is tomorrow’s viral YouTube clip. A search of McCain’s name on the popular video service returns a list of…

…mocking homemade videos

… poor media appearances


…even videos that demonstrate McCain’s problem with clear examples

Incredibly, it appears that a number of people would go as far as claiming that an attempt to record and disseminate a candidates own words is some how an unfair tactic. I have been reading with great interest the controversy over Taylor Brown’s run for State Senate District 22. This article in the Gazette was met with the usual cast of comments (a feature that I’ll admit makes the Gazette hard to read some days… I don’t always want to know what is going on in the head of some folks…) that seem to suggest that there is something wrong with the tapping of candidates while they campaign. High Plains Drifters, a frequent public commenter that rarely leaves the far right, calls it “harassment at best.” Another calls it “petty tactics.”

I can certainly understand the Montana’s GOP is concerned when their YouTube classics include…

…this delight

…and this classic

Yeah, if you look long enough, you are going to find examples of Democrats sticking their foot in their mouths, too. But don’t accuse Democrats of dirty campaigning by simply reporting things you say in public. Newsrooms are cutting staff with reckless disregard to the impact of news gathering. Less news will certainly mean less examination of our political leaders and their discourse (and that is in a world where most feel that the news was already woefully lacking in critical analysis). In a world where politics is local, this citizen news media may be one of the few critical tools we have to pick our future political leaders.

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J N

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