- Description:Online video has changed political campaigning forever. Peggy Miles of Intervox Communications discusses how politicians use the Internet to reach out to voters.
Media and Democracy
- Featured Writer(s):
Martin, Christopher R.
Fabos, Bettina G.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Going Viral: Political Campaigns and Video
Peggy Miles - President and Founder, Intervox Communications
I don't think we're ever going to see election campaigning be the same, especially after Internet video came into play.
Politicians are using it. And why not? I can get in front of people. I can get my whole message across. And it's valuable.
Richard Campbell - Author, Media and Culture
I think if you want to talk about transformation and sort of modern politics, you'd probably go back to 1960 and the Kennedy-Nixon debate, in which sort of what we know in surveys that Nixon won that debate on radio when people sort of interviewed later, just on the substantive, substance of the debate, but that Kennedy won on television. The director of that first debate was Don Hewitt, who invented 60 Minutes and suggested to Nixon that he put more makeup on because he had this really dark beard and growth. And Hewitt suggested, you know, you should soften that up a little bit. And Nixon refused to do this. And so he got on the air and was contrasted with John F. Kennedy, who was very sun-tanned and very, very striking looking. And by contrast, Nixon looked kind of sinister with this dark growth. And it showed in the debate.
Because once a video goes someplace on any broadcast network or any kind of electronic device, other people are get access to it. And that allows your neighbor to comment on a video, to bring up a new point, not just the reporters you see behind the news. And if there was something that was slipped in there that somebody else didn't catch, you'll find it. Let's say one of the politicians says something and it might not really be what they did in '84 - my goodness, which is then in the news recently. It comes to light in less than five minutes. Somebody does all the research and actually brings that information and can research it for us.
I think that's probably a good thing. And I think you also have, you know, Barack Obama's very clever use of the Internet in his whole campaign.
We're seeing all types of video communication going here and there, even within the campaign process and the fundraising. And also where people are voting or where people are deciding to vote. There's been a whole network of these little video live Webcasting phones; they're put in polling places. And so instantly you can get that video back. And you can see or click on a screen of 20 or 30 actual, live videos coming out of different polling places and talking to people around the nation or around the world. And, you know, sometimes, depending on if your carrier doesn't block it in some countries, that means that video can get to where it needs to go. And maybe only one or two people will see it. But guess what? If it's worth seeing, they're going to share it with two or three more friends. And it gets more. Then it takes off and it will get where it needs to go. That's the fun part about this.