The Australian Election for 2010 has, thus far, been a fairly lack lustre affair. The politicians have kept to tightly scripted, rehearsed announcements designed to appeal to minutely targeted swinging voters in marginal electorates. It’s policy without vision and politics without conviction. And it’s largely why non-issues such as the “real Julia Gillard” and the deposing of former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, have generated broad coverage.
Interestingly, given the success of the grass roots, social media activation of the David Cameron and Obama campaigns, the local strategists have largely ignored social media – and the web in almost all its incarnations. As Stephen Collins suggests, it’s not the social media election we were looking for.
But one of the more interesting efforts around the election is coming from an unexpected quarter. Vibewire, the innovative, non-profit youth organisation (disclaimer: I'm a board member) have teamed up with YouTube to cover, debate and shape the political conversation over the next four weeks. They have recruited and trained young, graduate reporters from across the country and are also crowd sourcing comment and commentary through a dedicated electionWIRE channel. Back at the “Vibewire Hub” an editorial team is managing, vetting and promoting the coverage as it comes to hand.
Anyone can get involved. You can submit a video or suggest a story. And judging by the quality of the coverage and perspective already coming through, it seems that Vibewire’s mandate to showcase the skills and expertise of young media professionals is more than delivering for reporters such as Megan Weymes and Elise Worthington, it’s providing insight and new perspectives on an otherwise dull election. Be sure to check it out!