New Media Revolutionize DNC

    Democrats assembled in Charlotte, North Carolina to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term promised the event will be the “most open and accessible convention in history.”  That is being made possible in part by the contributions of new media producers who are providing content to new audiences online.

    An experiment, known as the "PPL", is under the direction of Bruce Clark.  He describes it as an alternative newsroom of sorts for the kind of media that either can’t afford, or can’t get into, traditional media spaces at the Democratic National Convention.

    “To juxtapose that against all the digital content creators, all the future of media, has been quite an interesting experiment," Clark explains.  “The digital age has allowed us to tear down a lot of walls and allow access to folks who generally wouldn’t have access to information.”

    Those folks, working in a room just a few blocks from the convention, include bloggers, Instagrammers, Tweeters and independent filmmakers like Tim Grant.

    "New media has changed convention coverage just by the scope of the coverage," Grant says.  "The ability to tweet what you see, you know, take a picture at any moment.  It’s so broad now.  You can type in hash tag DNC and you’re getting a hundred new tweets every other minute.”

    During the first night of the DNC, that figure was not in the hundreds, but in the thousands, setting new records, according to Twitter’s Adam Sharp.

    “Before Michelle Obama had even started her speech, she had broken the record for the Republican convention," Sharp notes. "Finishes her speech at 28,000 tweets per minute.  Almost exactly double Mitt Romney, and interesting enough, double her husband’s performance at the State of the Union earlier this year.”

    Sharp says the online service Twitter, which allows users to send and read text-based messages, has changed the way politicians, reporters, and content producers reach audiences.

    “We’ve moved from a 24-hour news cycle to a 140-character one,” Sharp says.

    But while filmmaker Tim Grant welcomes the access, and the flood of options to get his online news that comes from it, he says there is a downside.

    “The filter is gone, and in some ways I think that hurts, because you don’t know what to look for," he says. "You don’t know what to trust in some cases.  But I think that if you really wanted to find something out, you have the access now, you don’t have to depend on just a handful of networks.”

    Those networks now have to compete with new media producers who can reach audiences at a fraction of the cost.

    Photo Gallery: 2012 Democratic National Convention

    • President Barack Obama waves after his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012.
    • Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama wave to the delegates at the conclusion of President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, September 6, 2012.
    • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama joined by their children Sasha, left, and Malia walks across the stage after President Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention.
    • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) embraces former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
    • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) joins former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012.
    • Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
    • First Lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
    • Delegates cheer as First lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • A woman records the invocation at the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates await the start of the first day of the convention, September 4, 2012.
    • A group of third grade students rehearse saying the Pledge of Allegiance ahead of the first day of the convention in Time Warner Cable Arena, September 4, 2012.
    • Advertisements for the DNC line the walls at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
    • Protesters block an intersection near the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for several hours while surrounded by police who allow the demonstration to continue, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates tour the floor ahead of the convention, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Programs laid out for guests inside the convention center. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • The Charlotte, North Carolina skyline seen through the window of an airplane, September 2, 2012.
    • President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina tours the floor at the Democratic National Convention, September 3, 2012.
    • Delegates and Democratic National Convention visitors crowd one of the merchandise stores in Charlotte, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates await the start of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012.
    • A 15-ton sand sculpture of President Obama is on display outside the convention. The sand comes from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (J. Featherly/VOA)

    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chris Cassidy from: Washington, DC
    September 07, 2012 6:42 PM
    The discussion of The PPL in the article is the same kind of surface-level investigation that lead me to spend $80 for access and wifi there this week. I also convinced a small handful of friends to spend $125 each (for late-registration.)

    We were very disappointed to find that The PPL fell down on its most fundamental job (besides protecting us from the rain, I suppose.) The wifi at The PPL was utterly unworkable all week long.

    I was embarrassed to have wasted my money and my friends' money trusting these folks, but I swallowed my pride to reach out for an explanation and/or reimbursement. I spoke with leadership at The PPL in person and sent two emails, but didn't receive so much as a reply, let alone an apology or the money we deserve back.

    It's really too bad. At best, this place was an entrepreneurial disaster run by well-intentioned folk ill-equipped to deal with their surprising failure. Without even the courtesy of an acknowledgement that they fell down on the job, however, it seems less innocuous than that.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora