Prepare Now for Better Online Election Coverage

The increased adoption of blogging, citizen journalism, Flash presentations and the like portend a different season of political coverage than what we’ve seen in the past. These aren’t new developments, but they’ve been used more frequently in the last year by the online-news industry, and will likely be incorporated into upcoming electoral coverage. —Steve OutingPrepare Now for Better Online Election Coverage (Editor and Publisher)

I’ll be teaching “Writing for the Internet” next fall, during the presidential election. Plenty of my students have professed their utter boredom with politics (outside of their particular hobbyhorse, if any). So I’m reluctant to tie a major online project to political current events; still, there will be a lot happening in cyberspace, particularly on the Thursday before election day, when scandals are strategically the most damaging to candidates. I’ll have to think about this one.

Anyway, here’s a great suggestion from the article: “Candidates were asked to give their stands on a variety of issues. In the print edition, candidate responses were sorted into grids, so readers could see who thinks what with a quick glance. But online, the approach was different: Web readers decided what their own stands are, then discovered who agreed with them the most at the end of the quiz.”