Journalism finds itself at a rare moment in history where … its hegemony as gatekeeper of the news is threatened by not just new technology and competitors but, potentially, by the audience it serves. Armed with easy-to-use Web publishing tools, always-on connections and increasingly powerful mobile devices, the online audience has the means to become an active participant in the creation and dissemination of news and information.
Follows with what I wrote a couple of days ago about Web logs giving people (students) a vehicle for participation. Lately I’ve been trying not to get too excited about instances where I see this happening more and more…the Dean campaign most notably. He and his staff are doing some great things with technology aimed at getting more and more people into the process, and that is definitely the only thing that’s going to rescue us from the joke that is politics these days. (California anyone?)
The article also mentions a new moblogging site being created by Matt Haughey (Metafilter) and Rusty Foster (Kuro5hin) which aims to track the 2004 presidential election. I’m not sure if all of this will have a huge impact this go ’round (though it wouldn’t surprise me.) But I have no doubt that by 2008 we’re going to be dealing with a vastly different landscape when it comes to politics and politicians, and it will be in large part to Web logs and whatever they morph into. I am really excited about the prospects.
(Also, see What is Participatory Journalism?)