Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Unfiltering the legislative session

The response to the fewest number of credentialed reporters covering the legislative session wasn't that a blogger was eventually credentialed, but rather this.

Or, a lot of stuff like that.

This winter and spring the four caucuses (but the Dem ones the most and the Senate Dems the most most) have been rolling out social media tools that allow them to directly connect with the people that would typically read legislative coverage.

  • Sen . Lisa Brown is writing a seriously blunt blog, taking issues on in a somewhat dense, but very direct way. House Dems also have a less fun blog, but its still there.
  • Each caucus has embraced twitter (SD, HD, HR, SR), though I'm a bit unsure of how this is an advancement beyond or just the use of a tool. Here's a funny thing about caucus twitter feeds. I though I was already following the senate Republicans because I followed WASenateGOP. Turns out that is their campaign committee and the actually caucus twitters at WashingtonSRC.
  • Same thing with each caucuses use of video and audio casts. Its great to make all the stuff available, but its another thing to distill it in some form.
Does the lack of reporters covering the legislature drive the caucuses to adopt social media? Probably not, I've heard conversations around these topics for years, but everyone was getting hung up on rules (that you apparently couldn't blog during session because it was campaigning? Weirdness).

Its more likely that the ramping up of caucus based social (or at least internet) media and the nose-dive of traditional state house reporting are happening on parralel, if not slightly overlapping, tracks.

1 comment:

robrichards said...

I think until the laws catch up with the technology we'll continue to see politicians and officials lean to the side of not using social networking sites. The rules are unclear and they indeed should err on the side of caution. I can't see it taking them too long to clarify the rules. It's too important of a tool.