Politics seems to be a vicious circle. The First Campaign, written by an insightful young author, discusses this pattern. One party is in power and nothing is done or something that the public doesn’t like so the other party is elected to office. After 8 years they too lose favor so the first party is brought back. It seems to be a given as it’s happened so many times before. The flip side of this is that maybe the party in power feels too sure of themselves and doesn’t have the same drive to stay in office as the party who is trying to get back into favor.

 

 

Either way it comes down to money. With more money there is more power and power seems to walk hand in hand with official positions. Whichever party, or candidate for that matter, has the most dollars seems to prevail. In the past it was the Republican machine and now the Democratic machine seems to be catching up. Whenever the media reports on how a candidate is doing in the elections it is always accompanied by the amount in their campaign account.

 

When in comes to the internet it now seems that you need to be in it to win it. Ever since the Dean campaign dove into the internet headfirst everyone is getting wet, even if it’s only a pinky toe. Now candidates get criticized if they don’t open up enough on the internet. In a recent blog on TechPresident they discussed how insulted some were that Hillary Clinton sent out tweets on Twitter but didn’t pretend to follow any. In other words she’s not signed up for anyone else’s feed. Obama is signed up for over 23,000 feeds. He must have a lot of time on his hands.

 

Political campaigns are all about perception. Do any of the candidates have their finger on the pulse of the people, probably not. If the perception is there, however, then the race is won.

 

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As this social media course comes to a close this is an interesting question. We’ve got “traditional” media outlets in one corner and “new” media in another. Maybe we should just have a Celebrity Death Matchand see who wins? Now this is sounding exciting. The truth is that I don’t think the lines are as cut and dry as that. There is currently a merging of the two that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Many reporters now have their own blogs in which they go into more detail about a story that they might be covering. Newspapers are going online with video streaming and eventually they’ll get the hang of it. The differentiations that used to exist are vanishing. If reporters are bloggers and newspapers are streaming video it’s pretty obvious that “citizen reporters” are being taken seriously. We the Media includes everyone reporting what’s going on out there in the world.

 

I know I’m rambling a bit but it just seems that there isn’t much difference anymore. As overseas bureaus close at an alarming rate because news organizations are restructuring as they try to save money we the citizens need to get our news somewhere. News stations have been sending paid interns out with handheld video cameras to follow candidates. Aren’t they “citizen journalists?” Basically, what I’m saying, is that both are needed and wanted. The mainstream learns from citizens as much as the citizens learn from the mainstream. We’re all in this together.