Podcasting in Elections

Although we normally focus on election reform issues, this story on podcasting is quite interesting (especially given Mike’s ongoing work podcasting aspects of our election reform blog). Podcasting is becoming popular among candidates and political operatives because it allows them to communicate directly to voters without media filtering. It also allows them to communicate with audiences who do not use traditional media, such as newspapers or network television to garner information.

Given the expanding usage of Ipod’s and other MP3 technologies, use of podcasting is expected to keep growing. As the article notes,

As the medium gains traction among average Americans, podcasting is expected to garner even more momentum among politicians when congressional races begin to heat up next year.

“They’re hot right now,” said Henry Brady, a political science professor at the University of California. “People are doing them because they’re exciting and new and interesting.”

One question will be how effective these podcasts are. There are tens of thousands of podcasts, and getting through to people who do not normally care about politics may be difficult. Instead, podcasts may simply reinforce the biases people already have in politics.