You Want Politics? You Got It

By Palser, Barb | American Journalism Review, December 2000 | Go to article overview

You Want Politics? You Got It


Palser, Barb, American Journalism Review


Separating the useful from the useless online.

If the unsubstantial sound bite is the shame of televised election coverage, then information overload is the parallel pitfall on the Internet.

After spending one interminable day in October reviewing Web coverage of the presidential campaign, I can verify that the online universe is indeed infinite, and that politics, not pornography, seemed the most prolific theme.

Stunned by thousands of news articles, background pieces, surveys, discussion forums, transcripts and commentary, this human brain nearly screamed for spoon-fed mush. Election sections on most of the major news sites were so enormous that a person couldn't possibly process all the sections and subsections and sub-subsections. About 20 percent of the stuff seemed digestible; the rest was far more than the average visitor would care to chew.

But that's the nature of the Internet, isn't it? Throw enough stuff at the wall, and most of it will be used by someone. Let folks pick and choose their news. If nothing else, all the fodder provided a number of ready-made high school civics reports and fed the repurposing requirements of fellow reporters.

And why not? Airtime and column inches don't exist on the Internet. There's no need to decide between an interview with a candidate's grade school sweetheart, a 5,000-word analysis of his position on health care or a comparison of campaign platforms. You can do all of that and more.

This is a good thing, isn't it? Yes. As long as an organization has the resources and vision to distinguish its core coverage from the ornaments that surround it.

Along those lines, cheers to all of the major news sites for their efforts at live speech and debate coverage, solid election news and voting resources.

Nearly every news organization with access to live video streamed it quite successfully during the debates and provided cataloged archives for future reference (abcNEWS.com even offered a stream in Spanish). Nearly live text transcripts were also available on most sites.

The innovation award goes to Web White & Blue 2000 (www.webwhiteblue.org). Sponsored by the Markle Foundation, the project was a consortium of 17 major Internet sites and news organizations from AOL and Yahoo to MTV and MSNBC. Each day the presidential candidates or their surrogates would respond to a question submitted by a visitor at one of the partner sites. The answers and rebuttals could come in any format and were unlimited in length. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

You Want Politics? You Got It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.