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The Long Tail of Politics: social media and the Tea Party movement

5 Nov

 

Will the Tea Party mean the end of the party in Washington?

 

America has swerved rightwards.

Energised by the Tea Party movement, the Republicans this week enacted a spectacular revenge on the governing Democrats in the mid-term elections, overturning at least 60 seats in Congress.

Many will explain this away by citing disaffection with the ‘slow progress’ of President Barack Obama’s reforms.

But something less obvious was also at play.

Before we go any further, let me be clear: I am not seeking to express any political view or affiliation here. This is a media blog – and I want to explore the story of how American conservatives have seemingly stolen a digital march on the supposedly tech-savvy Democrats to organise, spread ideas and win hearts and minds. Continue reading

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Can we save local newspapers?

13 Oct

Can we save local newspapers?

I’m not going to answer that question.

Yet.

But politicians of all persuasions are certainly queuing up to tell us that we should try.

The demise of the local rag would be a tragedy, they say. We’d be losing a pillar of local democracy, they tell us. “My best mate’s a media baron, who’s going to help me stay in power,” they often add. Hang on, that last bit’s not right.

Meanwhile consumers of media are changing their habits at a frightening pace, largely at the expense of the Press.

I’m researching a blog for the near future on whether we should be concerned about the fact most local newspapers are haemmorhaging readers.

I want to know what, if anything, can be done about it and whether we should do anything about it.

If you’ve read your local paper and you’ve got a single idea about how it could adapt to the internet age – how it could improve so you’d be more inclined to buy it (or keep buying it) – I’d be really interested in your views

I’ve put some questions below to  prompt you but please feel free to rap freestyle, either in the comments section at the bottom of this post or by emailing me privately at michaeltaggart[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk (I’ve written it like that to stop evil web spam robots taking my family hostage). Continue reading

The rise and rise of the grey-haired social surfers

7 Sep

Many local newspaper editors hope their core readers will protect them from the threat of the internet.

In almost every region, these readers are Baby Boomers and their older brothers and sisters.

Advertising rate cards proudly boast their publications are aimed at Mr and Mrs Fifty-Plus – a restaurant-going, theatre-loving, holiday-booking couple who have a bit of cash to spend. Continue reading

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