WHAT would John Adams and Thomas Jefferson think about the presidential election process today? Instead of appealing to a few colleagues for their votes, they would have to mount major campaigns to garner the votes of millions of American citizens. What would their slogans be and where would they stand on the issues? A lot has changed since our first president, George Washington, took the oath of office, including the lightning-fast way information is disseminated.
With the 2008 election upon us, there are many websites analyzing the personal attributes and platforms of the candidates as well as examining the political process for electing a president. The news media provides all sorts of information from facts to commentary with a dose of speculation by an array of "expert" panelists. For better or worse, YouTube and blogs allow unfettered participation by individuals. It is more important than ever that your students learn to be discerning readers when researching these sources. CyberBee has selected a variety of places to explore and use with your students.
Democratic National Committee
Meet the candidate. Stay informed on the party platform, news updates, and current issues. There is plenty of news about the opponent as well. Using the Party Builder, locate and participate in community groups, events, blogs, and fundraising. Delve into the history of the Democratic Party and learn how the donkey became its symbol.
Republican National Committee
Read press releases, speeches, and the party platform. Learn about the history of the Republican Party and how the elephant became its symbol. Join a group and discuss the issues or view videos about the opponent's shortcomings.
Journalists in every media outlet are focused on the 2008 campaign. Each newspaper and television source provides a wealth of information and opinions about the candidates as well as daily news updates. In addition, many have teamed with social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and blogs that allow participation by anyone with an internet connection. The following is a selected list of major news organizations:
ABC Vote 08
Political headlines, videos, blogs, and polling information are featured.
C-Span's Campaign Network
Watch programs aired on C-Span, campaign ads, and interviews from the political library.
CBS Campaign 08
Open the Campaign Toolkit that includes a calendar, poll database, money race, photo essays, campaign ads, video from the road, and political players. Read profiles of the candidates and the latest news about their campaigns. View cartoons and participate in blogs.
CNN Election Center 2008
Meet the candidates, view charts of the latest polls, and play Presidential Pong. Campaign news and analysis presents the latest headlines, news from the political ticker blog, and video clips. CNN's iReport encourages you to send campaign photographs and political cartoons and contribute opinions.
Fox News: You Decide 2008
News is easy to access since it is listed under each candidate's name. Video clips of the debates and poll averages are also available.
MSNBC: Decision 08
View candidate pages and subscribe to the RSS feed. Rate each candidate on the issues by using an interactive tool. Keep current with opinions from First Read. Learn the answers to trivia questions about the candidates that everyone wants to know.
NPR Election 2008
The focus of this site is information about the candidates, analysis, and news feeds. An interactive map allows you to view specific statistical information about each state.
PBS Online Newshour
View interviews with the candidates, reporter's blog, and top news stories. Take the Vote by Issue quiz to find out how GOP and Democratic presidential candidates stack up on key election issues. …