Friday, July 09, 2004

Political conventions are news

One of the gratifying aspects of blogosphere is the possibility to instantly comment on someone's post, as I did on Ed Cone's post on covering the Democratic National Convention, even more gratifying to have Ed Cone consider, and act on one's comment. No wonder readers like blogs.

Jay Rosen has a long post about how there is no news at political conventions, but he wants to cover them anyway.

Here are some stories Technoflak is interested in following, if any editor is interested:

Voting Machines, will there be anything in either party's platform about verifiable audit trails? 10 points to the journalist who asks Senator Chuck Hagel about voting machines.

Convention delegates are the people who, collectively, run our country. They only get together every four years. Who is selected as delegate and what they say to each other is news. Some of the attendees will be running for Governor or Senator in the near future, and somewhere on those convention floors are the presidential contenders of 2024. Now is the time to get to know them.

Every county committee chair will be at their respective conventions. This is a great opportunity to interview them and get a feel for what is really happening at the grassroots level. No matter how much a county chair spins it, what they say, and what they do not say, will reveal a great deal about how the campaign is going. The journalists who seek out the county chairs will get much livelier copy than the unfortunates who stand in line waiting for Karl Rove to throw them a scrap.

As I suggested over at Ed Cone’s blog, it may help to think of political conventions as trade shows for politics. The speeches are certainly news, but the action in the exhibit hall, as it were, is also news.

One last word, no anonymous sources. If the source doesn’t want their name on a quote, why would you want your byline on it?

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