Slate, the Industry Standard, and washingtonpost.com join forces to examine the effect of the Internet on Campaign 2000.
Perhaps Slate's experiments with online dialogue can offer some useful lessons. According to Slate editors, Web exchanges work best when they're unmoderated and, not surprisingly, when participants write their own stuff. (Enforcing the latter would pose whole new problems for a presidential debate.) Also, Slate dialogues benefit from comments drawn in from "The Fray," Slate's bulletin board, which often fosters shadow conversations among interested readers. "If you could have a parallel public discussion alongside the debate, candidates might feel pressure to respond, to show what populists they are," says Kinsley.
In the future, two trends might lend the cyber-debate some relevancy. First, greater access to broadband will make video clips worthwhile, as more people can easily download them. Bailey envisions a time when video press releases will largely replace print ones. Second, campaigns may eventually realize they've got a powerful tool in their hands. "Right now," says Bailey, "it's hard to expect them to devote significant time and energy to this. It would be great, but it's not realistic." Next time around, things could be different.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.