If you ask NBC Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd how social media has changed political coverage, he’ll tell you that it’s made it more reactive, and more anecdotal.
“140 characters is a great way of sharing the anecdote, but you can sometimes be drilling down so far that you forget the big picture,” Todd told me in a phone interview. He said he feels lucky to have a job where he can share anecdotes on Twitter and his TV show “The Daily Rundown,” and then take a look at the bigger picture on the “NBC Nightly News” and the “Today Show.”
Using Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as an example, Todd also said that social media has helped flatten out the barriers to entry for a presidential candidate: “Before social media, Herman Cain would not have been able to get the type of traction he’s gotten that would have allowed him to be in the presidential debate just four years ago.”
I interviewed Todd about this and about how he uses social media — Twitter in particular — to get news and share it with others. I also talked with him about why he thinks blocking people on Twitter is anti-First Amendment and why “the media is flat.”
I’ve admired Todd’s work for a long time, so I was happy to have the opportunity to talk with him. He was friendly and open, and our talk seemed more like a genuine conversation than a formal interview. Cheers to that.