Name of Periodical: Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism Volume Number: 13 Issue Number: 8 Year of Publication: 2012 Page Numbers: 1022-1038
There is much concern about the long-tail of online political information that now competes with standard news content. Yet we know little about how successfully it does so, and why. From the 2008 US presidential campaign, I develop a rich, original meta-database to map the relationships between the top viral election videos (278 million views) and the known-universe of blogs that linked to them (13,000 links). Through a mixed-method analysis of both content and web metrics, I find that news videos compete with political, entertainment and citizen videos; journalism blogs also compete with political, entertainment, and lifestyle blogs to propagate these new genres of political information. By further analyzing the gatekeeping mechanisms between video and blog categories, I find that online audiences’ civic information preferences help explain the rise of these new participatory political information genres, as well as the ways in which legacy media are struggling to adapt.