A World Without America
This is one of the video ads being put out by the internet politics tv station 18doughty street. It has caused quite a stir on youtube, where it has received over 250,000 hits and over 4,000 comments. The station is a right-wing venture, funded by Lord Archer's former aide Stephan Shakespeare, using the fortune he has made from polling organisation YouGov. Their avowed aim is to use new media to bypass what they see as the hidebound and biased attitudes of old media, and these political ads are part of that process. BBC online reports on what it sees as the coming of age of internet politics here, but not everyone shares their view that the web is the place where it's at! After all, 18 doughty street, with its evening chat programmes, will struggle for some time to get audiences anything like the size of Question Time or Newsnight, and it is noticeable that new media still uses old media to trumpet their successes. Nonetheless, politicians of all parties are leaping into the web-o-sphere - Clarke and Milburn's venture being merely the latest. And don't forget, across the pond, that Hillary Clinton launched her presidential bid on the internet, that here in the UK David Cameron has seen fit to establish his webcameron, that all bar one of the Labour Deputy Leadership candidates have set up websites, and that most newspaper and media outlets now have a whole host of blogs to accompany their more traditional output. New media may not yet be setting the agenda, but it is a given part of the news gathering process now.
To finish, here is another of the doughty street videos, this one emulating the US attack ad format against Ken Livingstone.