It had to happen. Blogs have become so much a part of the information mainstream that mainstream news providers had to get into the act.

Just about every newspaper, from the smallest weeklies to the mighty New York Times, has jumped into the blogging game and, as with the non-mainstream “blogosphere,” politics dominates the topics.

Which means political campaigns will be using newspaper and magazine bloggers to serve their interests.

Reports The Washington Post:

The mushrooming number of political blogs on newspaper and magazine Web sites has altered the terrain of the 2008 election. Campaign officials have learned to feed the bottomless pit of these constantly updated compilations, leaking favorable tidbits — a new poll result or television ad — and quickly disputing negative items.

In short, journalists and political strategists find themselves sparring more and more over smaller and smaller items on shorter and shorter deadlines.

When he worked for John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, says Clinton spokesman Phil Singer, “we were essentially at the mercy of the so-called Old Media. You had to struggle to get something into the paper. With the advent of these blogs, it’s much easier to get your message out through accredited newspaper channels.”

Danny Diaz, a Republican National Committee spokesman, agrees: “They provide another vehicle for operatives like myself to get out a message. They help further a story line.”

The Washington Post (“The Trail”), New York Times (“The Caucus”), Chicago Tribune (“The Swamp”), Los Angeles Times (“Top of the Ticket”), Boston Globe (“The Primary Source”), Time (“Swampland”) and the cable news networks, among others, have A-team writers contributing breaking news, analysis and lighter fare to their blogs. And these journalists write with more attitude online than in tradition-bound publications.

“The campaigns really care about blogs, and I hear from them a lot more often about smaller things, not just big-picture stories,” says Tribune reporter Jill Zuckman. Campaign aides also pay attention to the blogs on and from such magazines as National Review (“The Corner”) and the New Republic (“The Plank” and “The Stump”).

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