Party conventions opportunity for news organizations to show off online, social coverage

By Laura Davison
Social media was around during the 2008 Democratic National Convention,
shown above, as well as for the Republican convention, but it will play a
much larger role in 2012
London Olympic stadiums were buzzing with tweets, Facebook posts and live streams, and it looks like two political venues are up next.

But while medals were awarded every day during the games, the Republican and Democratic National conventions often don't reveal anything new. For many news outlets, the conventions are more chances to show off online coverage.

ABC, CBS and NBC are kicking their Web efforts into high gear. Although they'll show nearly an hour of prime-time coverage, they'll also offer live streams and real-time analysis. The networks say the live streams will have TV-quality production value. 

The GOP convention is Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla., and the Democratic convention is Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.

On the social front, CNN is partnering with Facebook to glean information about what political discussions people are having in certain states -- something CNN can use in its coverage, according to WebProNews. And Time magazine is teaming up with Foursquare to give those at the conventions "access to a curated list of must-attend venues and events," as well as a "visualization of convention activity, so political junkies not attending the conventions can stay current on all the on-the-ground action," according to the magazine.

YouTube announced Aug. 22 that it launched an election hub to cover the conventions and upcoming presidential debates, according to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. The channel will feature live streams, as well as content from eight news organizations, including The New York Times, BuzzFeed and the Spanish channel Univision.

To accomodate the online shift, news organizations are bumping up staffingBloomberg News is tripling the number of journalists it's sending to this convention compared to 2008, executive editor Al Hunt told The Wall Street Journal.

"'We see this as an opportunity to show a larger group the quality of what we are doing and, in that sense, enlarge our presence,'" he said.

And how will the parties leverage the Web? Fox News says they're using "social media to open up (the) convention process":
Democrats will not just show prime-time speeches live on the Internet, but will also stream caucus meetings and the council discussions of the party's platform and ideals over the Web. Republicans have hired a full-time blogger and a full-time digital communications manager to do nothing but engage people online.
How will you follow the conventions? Drop us a comment below.

Photo of the 2008 Democratic-convention stage courtesy of Flickr user johncatral.

No comments:

Post a Comment