Just how big an effect will social media have on Election 2016 in the U.S.? There are some who truly dislike social media like Nicholas Carr and argue it is ruining politics, that the medium “prizes emotionalism over reason.” But, according to Pew Research, more Americans are using social media to connect with politicians. Since 2010, the share of registered voters who follow political figures on social media has doubled. And it’s not just younger voters; the share of voters 30 and older following candidates nearly tripled in the same time. The 2008 election was called the “Facebook election” because of the Obama campaign’s ability to connect with constituents via social media channels. But even as social media lowered the barrier between the elected and the electorate, it’s given enterprising journalists a new tool to engage with their audience. Take for instance the award-winning campaign to #MakeAlCare by Meghan McCarty at Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), which sought to make one voter care about the local elections. How will this election cycle be different from past ones when it comes to digital and social? We’ll ask guests Hadas Gold, media reporter at Politico; Meghan McCarty, transportation reporter at SCPR; and Josh Stewart, deputy communications director, Sunlight Foundation. MediaShift’s Mark Glaser will host, with Jefferson Yen producing.

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