With the rise of social media, particularly Twitter, PR and social media consultant Trish Hegarty says a whole new audience is engaging with local politics.
Trish, who runs Inis Communications from Greencastle, says both election candidates and the public are making the coverage of events like the local and European elections a great deal more interesting.
The former journalist and broadcaster says there are several facets to social media, ranging from the immediacy of breaking hard news and results, to the fun and banter that helps adds colour to proceedings.
She says during the election counting process such updates filled a specific “gap” in coverage.
“I would say it fills the gaps between the news programmes, but that is only one side of it. It also brings such immediate, up to the minute news,” Trish explains.
“There was a huge amount of information, it was nearly hard to keep up with it but it was great because local journalists were able to post up tally counts and for local elections that was really important because the mainstream media couldn’t really keep up. I think the local media made really good use of social media this time, both print and radio stations” she said.
Once many of the large scale broadcasters stopped their productions was when social media “came into its own” as the medium many looked to for information, she added.