Week 3 – Digital Electioneering

An ambitious task for the evening:
A historical and quasi-contemporary look at campaign use of technology, beginning with radio debates,  moving on to the Kennedy-Nixon debates, and closing with the first campaign-oriented websites (1990s). Examine communication that is top-down as well as bottom-up.


  • Overview/Housekeeping
  • Lecture: From Print Political Culture To Electronic: How We Got Here
  • General/Reading Discussion
  • Roll Up Our Sleeves: Project Work


  • Reading posts to date (consider this a buggy whip reminder!): Gary (week 2, week 3 – brief); Paolo ( week 3); Shane (week 2)
  • Dan – which site are you using?

Lecture/Discussion and Resource Material

  • Lecture: From Print Political Culture To Electronic: How We Got Here
  • PPT and Slideshare


Upton Sinclair Gubernatorial Race

Kennedy-Nixon Debate

Archive.org has a 16 minute clip that contains excerpts from the debate.


TV (Cable) Amplification

Dean Scream – filmed from the crowd

Dean Scream – full

Dean Scream – not full

Political Commercials

The Modern-Day AstroTurf Campaign?
Q: If we can identify astroturf campaigns, why are they still effective (or are they)?

Project Work

  • FactCheckWa.org moved to MediaTemple – get student email addresses to add as editors – see if anyone wants to be a designer – get ideas for widgets/content
  • Review collaboration document and develop plan of work
  • Tonight before leaving! Develop overview page for each initiative and referenda – agree on components
    • Overview page : summary in English – link to Sec of State site, voters guide – Link to pro/con group websites – link to our supplemental pages
    • Endorsements – blog posts? or have all news organizations made their endorsements? Should be on the overview page
    • Organizations for and against – in addition to official sponsors – room on overview page or make a separate pro/con page for more detail, like I did with I-1100?
    • Facebook/Twitter/YouTube site links
    • Polling data – can we find any? blog posts might make sense for this since it’s news related and changing
    • YouTube clips – TV and radio – child pages, like I did with I-1100
    • Research: Money spent – can we find out how much was spent to collect signatures, for ads, etc?
    • Research: Historical recap – do voters tend to support or oppose initiatives or is there a pattern?
    • Research: a blog post on what would happen if the two liquor initiatives were to pass (we don’t know!) — can we find examples of when voters have been faced with competing initiatives and what they did?
    • Research: analysis of use of digital tools like FB, Twitter, YouTube
    • What else do voters need to know about initiatives?
    • ?
  • Identify which initiatives we will “go deep” on and who does what (by task or by initiative, for example); set deadlines (we have to get a serious move on if the material is to be valuable)
  • Share material found offline — flyers, mailers, photos of signs
  • Talk about Storify.com and curated.by — think about election night coverage
  • Possible Reference sites:

For Next Week

Deliverables for site developed in class.

Odds & Ends

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