Battle for 2016 will include media machine war

New voices have emerged, often outshining longtime media outlets.
Just as our president does, I have some favorites among new media.

President Barack Obama has taken advantage of new media to directly message supporters of leftist policy, and Republicans have taken note. Obama’s social policy efforts dominate his rhetoric, and legions of leftist media stand eager to distribute the messaging. As both major parties gear up for the 2016 presidential race, a war between media machines will gear up as well. 

If the GOP is serious about winning, we will, like the president, take advantage of creative ways to connect with constituents.

While his social media and Internet endeavors have been productive for his policies, his approach to legacy media has seen productivity decline. When Obama first ran for president, media could not get enough of him. One female writing for a major establishment paper penned a hearts and flowers piece about dreaming of Obama. Most analyses of his ideas were garbed in creative prose rather than reality.

By the time more than two dozen media workers including reporters had gone to work for Obama in the White House, however, media’s lust had begun to cool. Eventually media had to admit this was a very non-transparent president, even in assessments by left of center media. Never has a president repeatedly singled out a media outlet for criticism as Obama has done with Fox News.

While Democrats have their own alternative media, so does the opposition. From center right to hard right to libertarian-leaners, the Internet abounds with diverse voices. Among the sites I read frequently are voices from all sides, including:

The Daily Caller and Breitbart for general news from across the nation and from within government.

Watchdog Arena for national news as well as state-centric news written by bloggers on location; I write national and state focused news for this site, a Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity endeavor.

Daily Kos and Think Progress for stories and commentary from the left. I make it a point to read a broad variety of voices, and these two sites are among the most influential on the left.

Red State for right of center stories and commentary.

─Reports at any Office of Inspector General page in US government; reports at the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office. News releases at all of these and at individual agencies like the scandalized IRS. for social media captures (Twitter) on a specific hot topic.

Instapundit for breaking news and the domino effect after; law prof Glenn Reynolds never fails to please and entertain.

Power Line—written by attorneys, well worth regular visits.

National Review, icon in conservative politics.

Ace of Spades HQ, probably the most entertaining, eclectic site in opposition media.

Small Wars Journal, compilation of stories from many different authors about contemporary warfare and engagements.

Commentary for some of the best creative writing on the Web.

Discover the Networks for inside info on who funds what in politics on the hard left.

News Busters, the site monitoring legacy and leftist media for gaffes, misinformation, and fabrications. They stay busy.

Many different sites come up with favorite blog lists, and I reviewed a few of those lists. I think NewsMax has the most useful overall. Most of the conservative sites that magazine lists are longstanding, having sprung up when blogging was a new practice.

Other than all of these, Drudge is, for anyone involved in politics, a daily must.

Most of the sites I’ve listed have adapted to mobile versions, and I’ve read them on my iPad, my cell phone, and my laptop.

This list is not finite, by the way. I tend to read wherever the research leads me, and a primary focus for me involves reading legislation and policy papers. I get information about those mostly from government websites.

After losing two presidential elections, Republican strategists and leaders should take a very hard look at alternative media. I sometimes see candidates ignore new media, opting instead for legacy outlets. As Obama learned, however, sometimes targeted media can capture attention from those you are seeking most eagerly. As the 2016 race draws near, the war won’t just be between a Republican and likely Dem ‘anointee’ Hillary Clinton. There will be a media war too, and that war will have a definite impact on the race.

Feel free to share your own favorite politics and news sites in comments below.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 27, 2015)


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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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