Digital media will play a much bigger role at the political conventions this year than in 2008, with the iPad, other tablets, the growth of smartphones, and the rise of online video set to make it the most-covered pair of conventions yet, the Wall Street Journal reported.
More and better digital media will supplement the coverage by the major television networks, which are investing more in their live Web streams, the Journal reported. ABC plans to have host Diane Sawyer participate in the online coverage and NBC’s Brian Williams will do the same.
The three major networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, streamed the conventions on their websites in 2008. But that was before the iPad and the growth of smartphones, and the rise of online video, the Journal reported. Earlier this month, almost half of Olympics viewers watched a portion of the games on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
"This year, more than any other cycle, we are going to reach millions more viewers in ways other than just television," Marc Burstein, senior executive producer for special events at ABC News, told the Journal.
"We're back to doing gavel-to-gavel," he said. "We're just not doing it on television."
The networks are expected to cover both parties' gatherings for the equivalent of just one hour a night in prime time, according to the Journal. In the 1990s, conventions would get two hours of network coverage a night.
Streaming the conventions allows all media outlets to show off their digital side. Time magazine formed a partnership with Foursquare for the conventions, allowing users to unlock content when they get to certain locations in Tampa and Charlotte, the host cities of the conventions, the Journal reported. CNN will team with Facebook to take the political pulses of its users.
"We see this as an opportunity to show a larger group the quality of what we are doing and, in that sense, enlarge our presence," Al Hunt, the executive editor of Bloomberg News, told the Journal. Bloomberg plans to 150 people to the conventions, three times its 2008 contingent.
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