In an interview with a newspaper, Fred Boykin credited “the blogs” for making this most recent election cycle “more interesting.”
This race by far was the most eventful for Boykin, who ran unopposed in 2001.
“This election was different because of the blogs,” Boykin said. “Some of the electronic media made it more interesting. There was more information going back and forth that was covered in more detail than with the traditional media. The anonymity of the blogs made it a little mean spirited at times.”
Aside from the occasional sniping on the blogs, Boykin said the Internet made fact-based information such as campaign finance reports available more quickly, which was beneficial.
Two years ago, I couldn’t for the life of me determine any notable differences between the candidates running for office. There may have been unspoken, behind-closed-door differences, but that didn’t help this resident who couldn’t hear beyond the doorjamb. Hopefully the public dialogue this time around helped people make more informed decisions in their respective races.
I also hope the candidates’ extended foray into interactive media will make them – and other public officials – more comfortable with using it in the future. We’ve come a long way in just two years and I think we’ve proven the added value of an easily accessible, public online environment, regardless of the occasional “sniping”.
Dare I say it, but the community blogs of today have a higher calling than just trying to fill any newspaper gap. They should strive to take their “community service” to a new level, providing not just a platform for stories (well-written or not), but also informed discussion on a city, town or region’s most pressing issues.