Karl McCartney gets citizen-journalised

Local blogger Glenn Le Santo has interviewed Karl McCartney, Lincoln’s Tory PPC, about why he thinks he should be chosen to represent the city.

McCartney speaks about his background, cuts to the public sector, traffic congestion in Lincoln, law and order, taxes, the EU – and more.

It’s an extensive interview, and at 55 minutes long you’ll have to push yourself to listen to the lot, but it gives you a good idea of what McCartney stands for.

This is a great example of the contribution citizen journalism will have during this general election. This is the first election that social networking and blogging have really been at the fore of reporting and commenting on politics.

Le Santo has hinted on Twitter that Gillian Merron, Lincoln’s Labour PPC and the MP since 1997 until Parliament is dissolved on April 12th, has been less than forthcoming about being interviewed by him. He tweeted:

Going well so far but one PPC remains conspicuous by her [Merron] absence. Lookwell if she loses by the amount of views on Karl’s interview!

He [McCartney] has to fight for every vote. Whereas the lady [Merron] might either be complacent or not understand this new political arena properly.

One slight drawback is that it’s not exactly a challenging interview. Le Santo isn’t offering a Paxman-esque grilling of McCartney. However, sometimes it is nice to hear someone speak uninterrupted on what they think. We can always do the Channel 4 News style factchecking afterwards.

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3 Responses to Karl McCartney gets citizen-journalised

  1. Dr. Ron Ross says:

    It’s our hope that more and more political candidates will see the value of giving interviews to citizen journalists.

  2. Thanks for the article and the link to the interview.

    It might not be strictly true calling me a ‘citizen journalist’ as I have been a professional journalist for more than 15 years. I haven’t worked in politics, although I did study it at university, my work has been mainly in sport.

    I had intended to be more Paxman-esque with Karl but he was so frank and honest (yes!) that it wasn’t really necessary. Plus, he hasn’t yet actually ‘done’ anything as an MP so there wasn’t a lot of material for me to take him to task on.

    Ms Merron would be different, she has had years on the Commons benches to answer for. Sadly, it seems she is does not yet understand the paradigm shift that has taken place in media and maybe thinks ‘small fry’ like myself are not even worth the courtesy of an answer.

    I’d suggest she is wrong. So far more than 2,000 people have listened to Karl’s interview. These are people who have made a conscious decision to listen, not those sat idly listening to the radio or watching TV by whom the interview happens to pass. Those that have played my ‘tape’ are targeted ‘hits’ of the type that any self-respecting media/advertising or PR professional would give her eye-teeth for. It is also more than 2,000 people who are now sharing their opinion with their friends and work colleagues. You would be very wrong to underestimate the power of this reach.

    As I said on Twitter, our incumbent MP may yet come to regret her lack of engagement should she subsequently lose her seat (and job) by a small margin.

    My lines remain open for Gillian to contact me. But I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for your comment and for the interview!

    We all thought it was great. I guess citizen journalism might be the wrong term, but it sort of still applies. You’ve taken it upon yourself, as a citizen in Lincoln, to interview a PPC and to share it with the public – for free.

    I take your point about him not having done anything yet, although policy can still be taken to task.

    You’re right about Gillian – she has to give answers on the decisions she’s taken. I hope she takes you up on your offer, I’d be very interested to listen to it.

    In the meanwhile I hope you enjoy our coverage and we shall be watching yours closely – in anticipation of more interviews!

    All the best.