What are the trends in social and digital media that will help shape the 2012 presidential election? What can we learn from grassroots election efforts like Rock the Vote, now in its 20th year, contrasted with the very short history and transformational social media tactics used in recent presidential politics? Is it a natural evolution of activism, is it disruptive? If so - how? Join PBS NewsHour moderator Christina Bellantoni and panelists Mary Katharine Ham (radio host/political commentator); Maria Teresa Kumar (founding executive director, Voto Latino); Craig Newmark (founder craigslist and craigconnects); Heather Smith (president, Rock the Vote); and others to be announced, for a wide-ranging, idea-generating, big-picture discussion of trends past, present and future on how the presidential election may be shaped and transformed by social media services such as Twitter and Facebook to new location based and mobile technologies.
From smear campaigns on Twitter to owning a domain before the opposition does to constituent hangouts on Google+, social media and the web have changed the election process for good. Candidates rely on social media to get their message out on their terms, journalists report and react to the story as it happens, and social platforms help to galvanize public opinion, support volunteers and solicit donations. With viewpoints from journalists, scholars, and campaign practitioners, this panel will reflect on the 2012 presidential campaign and how new media has made its mark. Specifically, the panel will look at which online platforms are performing the best in the 2012 election, the convergence of new and traditional mediums on the campaign trail, and analyze how campaigns are using these tools to promote their issue platforms and candidates, successfully or not.
What does it mean to wage a story? In this panel, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas describes the moment of coming out as an undocumented immigrant, an "outlaw" in his own country. He explores the ways in which his radically visible story traveled from the New York Times to Facebook to Youtube and back -- and forced a toxic national debate into a human frame. As context for Jose's incredible story, Joe Sudbay, Deputy Editor of AMERICABlog, describes how bold, hi-tech storytelling transformed the political calculus during the waning months of the last Congress and landed him in a meeting with President Obama at the White House. Felipe Matos takes us on a journey that reinvents what it means to push for civil rights: a 1,500 mile walk from Miami to DC, tweeted at every turn.These hypervisible, once-invisible stories are changing what we thought we knew about the communities that are "coming out," as well as how to tap the power of social media to ignite change.
9th–13th March 2012