Yesterday, the SKWAWKBOX was discussed in a Buzzfeed article about the rise, popularity and impact of the independent Left media (or ‘alt-left’ as the author, Jim Waterson, described it).
This morning, the blog was mentioned on the BBC’s flagship Sunday morning programme, The Marr Show, as Waterson and others discussed the ‘parallel election campaign’ that’s going on via social media.
Of course, Marr and the others were quick to write the phenomenon off as an ‘echo chamber’, but – well, they would, wouldn’t they.
The crucial thing – which was discussed with Waterson during the interview with him but didn’t make it into the article – is ‘overspill’. Of course the blog has regular readers and we appreciate them hugely – but when anyone shares a SKWAWKBOX (or Evolve, Angry Voice, Vox Political, Canary etc) article, that post is seen by friends, family and acquaintances who might not be Labour supporters or even have taken much of an interest in politics.
When an article goes ‘viral’, the overspill impact can be huge and independent Left sites can influence the news agenda – like this morning – and therefore public opinion. What’s more, we also influence the behaviour of politicians – especially in preventing those who want to damage Labour or disrespect its members. As the Buzzfeed article says:
One anti-Corbyn Labour aide told BuzzFeed News many of the party’s MPs now felt unable to place stories or comment pieces in The Sun or the Daily Mail – where they could potentially reach floating voters – because sites such as The Canary and newcomers such as Skwawkbox will immediately launch a series of attack pieces on the politician for cooperating with enemy media, which then causes trouble with activists at a community level.
Which is just as it should be, when you consider the agenda and history of that kind of publication – and the content of the ‘comment pieces’ that are designed to talk down Labour’s leadership and electability, ‘reaching floating voters’ in an extremely damaging way.
So please keep sharing articles from this blog and others – together, we’re having an impact. If you want to see the whole discussion, it’s available on BBC iPlayer, starting about 11 minutes in.
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