Iain Duncan Smith thinks blogging can help the Tories win the election!
For decades the national conversation in most western countries has been directed by a few talking heads. Newspapers play important roles but all the evidence suggests that broadcasters have possessed the greatest potential to frame public debate. British politicians have known that communicating their message depends upon getting the nod from a small number of powerful figures in the broadcast media.
The editor of BBC1’s six o’clock news bulletin can make a minister’s day by putting his department’s latest announcement at the front of the bulletin. Hearing Huw Edwards say something positive about that afternoon’s policy launch will even put a smile on Alastair Campbell’s face.
But all of this looks set to change because of the blogosphere. Blogging is a geeky expression for how people use online logs, or diaries, to share their opinions. If a weblog is interesting and informed enough it can reach millions of people at zero cost. Karl Rove, the man George Bush described as the architect of his re-election, recently said that the dominance of America’s mainstream media is coming to an end. And Rove credits the Davids of the blogosphere for the humbling of the old media Goliaths. After decades of centralisation, Rove believes that the national conversation is being democratised.