Twitter and Digg to introduce social media to US election coverage

3 Nov 2008

The 2008 US presidential elections this week will mark a watershed moment for social media, from video to Twitter, Digg and blog posts.

Leading broadcast media organisations are looking at embodying social media commentary online with traditional broadcasts to give viewers an unprecedented 360-degree view of events as they happen.

For example, RTÉ will provide internet and broadcast viewers/listeners with an additional service whereby a specially created website managed by its newsroom will clip in all US election coverage, enabling people to get catch-up material, as well as news as it unfolds.

Cross-platform media company Current TV said this morning it will create a comprehensive newsfeed that will stream Digg headlines onto TV as part of a multimedia dashboard, which includes tweets from Twitter and video commentary from and

“By partnering with Digg and Twitter, Current is enabling our young, adult viewers to directly influence what they see online and on TV, especially on election night on Current TV,” said Joel Hyatt, chief executive of Current, which broadcasts to more than 58 million people in Ireland, Italy and the US via cable and satellite.

Twitter users can participate as citizen journalists in the lead-up to, and aftermath of, Wednesday’s events by using ‘#current’ in their tweets. Users can also ask questions about participating via Twitter by directing questions to ‘@current’.

“The new pace of democracy is real-time,” said Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder.

“Current is helping Twitter amplify the opinions, news and trends that matter right now. Together, we’re influencing more than media—we’re evolving conversation,” Stone said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years