We hope you’re not tired of articles exploring the influence of social media on the 2016 campaigns in all their snappy, visual-rich wonder, because we’ve got another one for you. This time, though, it’s not about politicos reaching the young influencers of our future on SnapstaGramBook, its about them influencing possibly cynical, possibly burned out, definitely exhausted political reporters. Writing in National Journal, Shane Goldmacher declares Twitter the new spin room of the 2016 campaign.
He also adds to an earlier piece from The Hill explaining why Rand Paul ads appear in our Twitter feed on the daily. Sometimes hourly.
The basic gist is that the use of Twitter as a second screen by journos for things like, say, tomorrow’s first GOP debate, has made it the de rigueur battleground for winning the hearts and minds of reporters covering the debates.
[Republican digital strategist Michael] Duncan said debates are the rare event where the typically insular world of journalists and political activists on Twitter can impact a broader audience. “Political Twitter is prone to tribalism, but debates break through that barrier,” he said. “How a debate is perceived on Twitter reverberates in news coverage.”
One of the most urgent political tasks, then, is getting a campaign’s message in front of and digested by the pundits, reporters, and influencers who will set the post-debate narrative. “I think that the second-screen portion of the debate is probably where the analysis, and where the sort of conventional thought on who won and lost the debate, will be made,” said [Rand Paul chief digital strategist Vincent] Harris.
And, since Twitter will allow campaigns to target ads to debate tweeters, refraining from tweeting is the only escape. And who’s going to do that?