The topic of politics in the Internet age convinced people to give up much of their Saturday to head to a joint Institute of Political Leadership/John Locke Foundation conference, “Spinning The Web,” in Research Triangle Park.

Participants heard a series of panels covering the topic from different angles. The following links offer video highlights.

The New Online Campaign

  • Jon Henke of New Media Strategies discusses here the influence of blogs.
  • Zephyr Teachout of the Duke Law School, a veteran of the Howard Dean presidential campaign, discusses here the mixed reaction to the Internet’s role in politics.
  • George Taylor of Elon’s Institute for Politics and Public Affairs discusses here the Internet’s role in society’s democratization.

Web Tools for Political Reporting

  • Mark Binker of the Greensboro News & Record discusses here a new Internet-inspired element in N.C. political csmpaigning. (Later panelist Ryan Teague Beckwith has more here.) 
  • Laura Leslie of WUNC Public Radio shares here a potential downside of reporters relying on the Internet and blogs. 
  • Ryan Thornburg of the UNC-CH journalism school explains here how the Internet has changed the relationship between reporters and sources.

Blogs and the Political Conversation

  • Blogger and News & Record columnist Ed Cone warns here that people should avoid using a single blog as a news source. 
  • Blogger Mary Katharine Ham discusses here the capability of blogs to generate much more information for debates about politics and other topics. 
  • Ryan Teague Beckwith of the News & Observer explains here that blogs give people a venue for challenging traditional media. 

Beckwith also wins the prize for funniest self-deprecating media reference. You’ll find it here