The BBC's election coverage is to harness the blogosphere: "An elaborate network of opinion formers, activists and analysts collide online producing fact, rumour, and mood not found anywhere else". The web, they claim: "provides the unvarnished truth about what the parties are really thinking". Hence Iain Dale, Luke Akehurst and Alix Mortimer, bloggers representing respectively Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat, will be imparting snippets of information that provide colour to the often bland statements made by leaders playing up or down the results.
Of course there could be a downside and false rumours are offered up that manage to seize media and public attention, but it is interesting that the BBC feel bloggers are opinion formers both within the party, perhaps, or among their readers and the blogosphere more generally. To harness the collective intelligence, as Luke writes, they all want:
- results as soon as they seem clear, predictions perhaps
- information on what's going on a round the country- atmosphere at counts, rumours, gossip, colour
- reaction to blog posts
- information about other eye catching posts on political blogs
They will be creating a four-way blog with the BBC's Emily Maitlis (link here), all of which makes for an interesting development. My question for this, is this the rise of the citizen journalist to true credibility; or a reinforcement of the traditional political who may appear free from the party line constraints but also with clear bias to one side?