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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
UW interactive panel discusses 2008 election system and the modern media

Project Youthanized: Charlie Berens, UW-Madison senior and panel member, fielded questions regarding the imact of social networks on the 2008 election.

UW interactive panel discusses 2008 election system and the modern media

A panel expressed both concern and optimism of the social media influence on the face of modern politics, in an interactive discussion at the Pyle Center Monday.  


Elections & Social Media: Entrepreneurial Paths to Participation,"" hosted by Wiscontrepreneur and Project Youthanize, answered questions concerning the collision of the election process and social media. 


The panel answered questions fielded by journalism school professor Katy Culver and the students in attendance.  


Doug Bradley, assistant director of marketing and communications for the Office of Corporate Relations, introduced the evening's event. 


""We've got an 18th century electoral model here and we've got 21st century media '¦ what's happening when these worlds collide?"" Bradley said. 


The consensus from the panel was the younger generation is politically involved, but in a much different way than previous generations through social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.  


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UW-Madison senior Corey Senderhauf, said she was concerned about the slew of information in the websites because it is often difficult to break through the clutter.  

In response, panelist Charlie Berens, a UW-Madison senior who represents the state as a citizen journalist on MTV's Street Team '08, said social networking sites such as Facebook can foster political action.  


""You present yourself in a way on Facebook and other social networking sites,"" Berens said. ""And if you're going to put something on your site, you know other people are going to see it, and it's going to make you think at least one more time."" 


Panelist Angelo Carusone, a blogger on, raised concerns about the hardening of political lines. He said participants can more actively filter the information they seek through the social media. 


While lingering after the event, students and faculty members said they learned from comparing the social media to the 2008 election process. 


""What we wanted to happen tonight did happen,"" Bradley said. ""The conversation here was about social media, new media and doing things that are different, exciting and cutting edge '¦ that's where entrepreneurship is going to take root."" 

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