Miami University Lecture Series looks at social media
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 03:10
The second event in the Miami University Lecture Series took place Monday evening at Hall Auditorium with Becki Donatelli and Sam Graham-Felson, two experts in political social media.
The goal of the lecture, titled “#Voting: Social Media and the 2012 Election,” was to explore the role of social media in the national political conversation, according to Patricia Newberry, journalism senior lecturer and member of the Lecture Series committee.
Donatelli served as the chief internet consultant on John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and she also managed online fundraising for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004, as well as other political campaigns. Graham-Felson served as the chief blogger for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Bringing speakers with experiences from both political parties was important to the Lecture Series committee, Newberry said. That need for political balance became even more important after hearing considerable feedback on the first lecture of the series, in which Jerry Springer brought an unexpected political message, she said.
“We as a committee were very cognizant of seeking that political balance,” Newberry said. “That’s the main goal, is to have somebody representing each political party talking about what worked in the recent past and then how it…is playing out or may be playing out through the balance of this election.”
Newberry said it’s important that students understand the inherent bias of any political message, no matter what form it comes in.
“These are political messages no matter the mode of delivery,” Newberry said. “I would hope that students, just because they happen to get the Twitter feed from Obama or Romney or whoever else, that they keep in mind that these are messages crafted expertly to present their side and their guy in the best possible light, while potentially knocking down the other side. You just have to always be cognizant that there’s a goal in political messaging no matter how it’s delivered.