Blogs, videos, reporters chart ‘Super Tuesday’ online

Mainstream newspapers jockeyed with citizen journalists and maverick freelance bloggers to lure Internet surfers with coverage of the tense presidential nominating vote marathon on “Super Tuesday.”

February 6, 2008
Blogs, videos, reporters chart 'Super Tuesday' online

Web search giant Google rolled out the "Google Super Tuesday Map," updating the voting figures in a table as they came in, alongside a map that flashed up public comments from across the United States and worldwide.

"Can you smell what the Barack is cooking?" wrote one contributor flagged on the Google map, after Senator Barack Obama was projected the Democrats' winner in his home state of Illinois.

"Just voted at Morningside, no lines, no problems, less then five minutes," wrote a blogger named Lance, in Georgia, in a posting on another site, the social networking forum Twitter.

"This whole process would drive an analytical thinker crazy trying to understand super-delegates, delegates and winner-takes-all-states," responded another, named "Wisesumo," of the complex party nominating procedures.

Popular music channel MTV, normally associated with colorful hip-hop videos and crunching rock tunes, on its website kept a close track on voting as it unfolded in two dozen states, with a feature titled "Choose or Lose."

It posted blog entries filed by mobile phones from a "street team" of young "citizen journalists" in 23 states, with an interactive map of the states tagged with entries detailing the voting results as they arrived.

Traditional newspapers fought to keep up with multimedia "live blogging" features on their own websites, as the flood of citizens' online comments gave specialist political sites and blogs a run for their money.

The Washington Post and leading magazine Newsweek joined forces for a joint project, arming their reporters with webcams to film and broadcast the day's voting live, while journalists conversed live online with readers.

Time magazine, national daily USA Today and others also ran live news blogs on their websites, with leading newspapers abroad, such as France's Le Monde, following the trend with minute-by-minute updates.

Video sharing website YouTube hosted a page titled "YouChoose '08," grouping users' off-the-wall home-made videos commenting on the White House race and locating the contributors on an interactive map.

One clip, a thrashing heavy metal music video pinned to the map near New York, contained caustic lyrics slating rival candidates to trailing Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee. It was titled "Huck 'em All."

Another, pinned in West Virginia, featured a cartoon effigy of Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, a high-profile endorser of Barack Obama, who is running neck-and-neck with former first lady Hillary Clinton.

"Some people may think I'm endorsing him because he's a fine-looking young black man," said the animated caricature, satirizing a raw issue in the Democrats' candidacy debate. "Actually, I'm just sick and tired of the Clintons."

 

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