It’s campaign season and the news agencies are running on overtime publishing a lot of political noise. Frankly with all the noise it’s hard to hear what anyone is actually saying but apparently that’s besides the point. I guess it’s not what you say anymore it’s how well you say it that counts. Alas, I digress. The good folks up in Kent State’s award winning School of Journalism and Mass Communication are knee deep in these waters and they’re pleased to offer an alternative. Rather than settling for all the low hanging news with its pre-scripted and choreographed sound bytes, their offering the voice of the voter a chance to be heard. Certainly the national scene is the center of attention this Fall but local news still matters and Kent State is trying to deliver.
At their new web site http://et.kent.edu/vov/ the Kent State folks are giving a chance for voters to be weigh in on issues. I suspect the idea for this site germinated around the 2008 election but it has grown beyond those roots to include local stuff too. And I’d bet it will grow more too as their experience running it grows.
It seems like a very well done, modern way of capturing comments at the ground level and giving individual voices a chance to rise above the din. One of the founders, Barb Hippsman, sent me a short blurb about the site:
This Voice of the Voters project is all about KENT, featuring voters from every ward in the city – and the surrounding township areas (listed as Ward 7, but we’ll change that!)
We are inputting items frequently and would appreciate any traction you could get for the site. Thanks Dave!
Barb Hipsman, associate professor, news sequence Kent State, School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Here’s an example of the kinds of video clips you can find on the site: Local Interview