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The spin doctors' nightmare

“The political party that can harness blogs to its cause is the one that will win the internet campaigning war,” says Tory blogger Iain Dale in today’s Observer.

He argues that blogs provide a chance for the parties to “market their message without the filter of mainstream media reportage and comment”. Blogs, he believes, are the spin doctor’s worst nightmare come true.

Dale, who has produced a Guide to political blogging in the UK which is available at his blog, says the trouble is that most politicians see all the dangerous downsides of blogging and rarely the benefits.

He points out that ConservativeHome and his own blog both get far more visitors than the official party website. Blogging is a way of reaching younger people who are deserting mainstream media.

Over at Labour, Mike Ion who fought Shrewsbury and Atcham at the last election, tends to agree. He writes: “There’s no question in my mind that political bloggers are a major new development in British politics. They take the media out of the hands of the corporate world and put it into the hands of anyone with a computer and an internet connection.”

He heads this post “Is the Left useless at blogging?” His conclusion: “Labour is on the back foot at present and it desperately needs to find a way of reconnecting with the influencers and political junkies before it is too late.”

From the perspective of a journalist, it is clear that the political landscape is changing and that news agenda is being influenced in a different way. It should make political coverage in MSM more interesting.
Other links: Labour party, LibDem party.

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