Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election 2.0: An Online Guide for Political Junkies

Election 2.0: An Online Guide for Political Junkies

During the last two Presidential elections, the Internet played a bigger role as news organizations supplemented their coverage with online posts. But more than in any previous election, the 2008 contest will be covered from every possible angle online.

A few relatively new Web sites have become essential for election junkies. Politico, launched in 2007, showcases established names as well as younger talent with stories, blogs, and columns on the candidates and the issues. RealClearPolitics has a comprehensive list of the day's major op-eds as well as an in-depth, right-leaning commentary section. There's also Talking Points Memo, which has a left-leaning perspective and has surged in popularity this fall.

Then there are, of course, the more traditional news outlets. CNN is known as a top source for exit polls and state-by-state vote results, with its Web site often posting results more quickly than the broadcast counterpart. Meanwhile, networks such as ABC, CBS, and NBC are offering a combination of live news streams from their newsrooms and election headquarters, as well as blogs and interactive electoral maps. PBS and National Public Radio have an interactive map, along with election news and analysis from public broadcasting stations across the country.

The New York Times plans to offer video updates online every 30 minutes from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern time, featuring reports from the paper's correspondents, plus interactive maps. The Wall Street Journal's Election 2008 page also has video reports, analysis, interactive maps, and an Electoral Compass that allows readers to measure their political leanings. Social networking sites are also getting in on the game; MySpace will air a live stream of MSNBC's coverage on its MySpace Decision08 page, along with a map that will update election results in real time, blogs, and user-generated video.

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