...the student publication of UBC's Graduate School of Journalism, along with Jared Gallinger and Robert (the smart Tory) Jago. Not too self-congratulatory on the part of us interviewees, and Ms. Allen has written up a good piece on the nuts and bolts on-line politics, esp. the oppo "research" that's been a hall-mark of this campaign. My favorite bit:
Akins agrees that despite the blogosphere’s importance, it is not a replacement for traditional news. “No Canadian MSM [Mainstream Media] outlet has the resources to do that kind of digging on the 1,500 plus candidates…but smart MSM reporters will keep an eye on smart bloggers who do have the time to keep a special eye out in their part of the world.”
The bloggers accept the limitations of newsrooms, but their charity doesn’t extend to the war rooms. Gallinger thinks that parties must alter their views on candidates’ freedom of expression. “Otherwise, I don’t know how they’re ever going to find any competent candidates in ten years time.”
Murphy disagrees. He thinks the parties simply did a bad job of vetting. “The reporters are saying that they don’t have enough time, but I don’t buy that with the parties.” He attributes their oversight to underestimating the average citizen’s facility with the web.
Murphy expects the parties to become stricter with their candidate selection, not more relaxed.
“The next election won’t be nearly as fun,” he says.
Just to elaborate on the disagreement Jared and I seem to have. There's an old saying: if the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. Propounding 9/11 truther doctrine, uttering threats, will not become acceptable behavior just because these things are done via a blog or other on-line forum. What I think will be the much more likely result of the blogging shenanigans of the 2008 campaign is that the parties will raise the standard on even their 3rd string candidates for fear of them embarrassing the national campaign. And any bloggers who see themselves as potential candidates one day will take care to moderate their online opinions, or at least the expression of their online opinions.
People like me and Jared and Jago and Buckets and so forth will have to find other ways of making ourselves annoying.