Saturday, March 03, 2007

I think I'm just really fascinated by online video and how it is being used - by mainstream media organizations, by mainstream corporations, by political candidates, and by regular people.

The Washington Post this week has an article about "You Choose '08." It's part of YouTube, but it's where all of the official videos by the political candidates will be posted. See article!

I find this so interesting - it's YouTube acting as the content organizer - by weeding these official videos out from everything else that's posted (the fun, unscripted moments). But in a way I also feel that this is all just free publicity - because they're the videos produced by the candidates, without any commentary or analysis or comparison. But - this leaves those duties/responsibilities/I don't know what all to to the viewer herself or himself.

" "The more videos the candidates put up, the more effort they put into each video, the more they're going to get out of it," says Jordan Hoffner, YouTube's director of content partnerships. "It's like when Bill Clinton took full advantage of the rise of the 24-hour cable TV in 1992. It was great political theater. I foresee this being very similar." "

So here we have YouTube's content partnership director comparing YouTube to 24-hour cable TV. I get the point about it always being there and compelling for politicians to use. But I still just see the mediums as very different. YouTube allows for much more user-interaction, but it also allows for a lot more involvement by candidates' campaign staff. And that makes it interesting but also uncontrollable. There's no vetting (buzz word!)- besides whether or not the official videos are from whichever campaign - so, any content on the site just can't be compared to cable news.



At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

It's free advertising -- and candidates would be stupid not to take advantage of it.

Analyzing the videos and helping viewers to look at them with a critical eye is our job.

You're right in thinking the videos are different from cable news. However, posting the videos on YouTube is no different than paying for commercial time on a major network, except the former is free. We don't let candidates get away with posting rubbish on television; why should we let them get away with it online?

Wouldn't you want to be the one to break news that a political candidate is soliciting lies online?


At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

Sure it's free publicity, but it's also free information. It's actually pretty hard to sort out these candidates' stances on important issues by watching mainstream media. I think it's great that YouTube is providing a straightforward means for voters to see where the candidates stand and make up their minds who they want to support without suffering through hours of O'Reilly, CSPAN... or dare I say it (since I love him) Charlie Rose.

There's enough 'analysis' and posturing already - let's get the message and choose to reject or accept it.


At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Anonymous cy said...

Candidates would be dumb to forgo this free opportunity to get their messages out to voters. And I'm sure most YouTube users are aware that candidates have the ultimate motivation of getting into office in whatever kind of campaign advertising they do. No, YouTube doesn't have a vetting process, but that's why so much junk gets onto it.

And like TB says, I'm sure reporters will jump at the chance to expose a candidate who tells falsehoods, regardless of what medium he or she may use.


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