New new media has changed the way campaigns are run today. Candidates now have the ability to target specific segments through a number of different media instead of just using mass communication. They can target a large segment of the population with Facebook, Twitter, they can blog about their campaign experience and upload YouTube videos to keep their voters entertained and informed. Instead of spending a large sum of money on a spot on a major TV news outlet, they can create a speech from the comfort of their home, or on the road even, and upload it to YouTube. They can tape interviews with voters at different locations to answer questions in a less formal environment and give a down to earth appeal.
But, new new media can also be very damaging to a campaign. If some unknown truth about the candidate is revealed, it will spread like wildfire throughout the Internet. This would call for serious damage control both through the use of social media as well as conventional mass media. So, I see new new media as being extremely helpful for the public in terms of election. Not only do we have the potential to feel significantly more connected to our candidates, but there is also an ease with which the majority of society can learn about past scandals if they happen to come up during the election period (or after).
However, we must always be careful not to believe anything too quickly and always check stories against other sources. Although the truth has the ability to spread rapidly across the Internet, so do lies.
Obama and Digital Media for his 2008 Campaign