Alastair Thompson – General Manger/Co-Founder,

β€œIt changed the news cycle completely. Up till that point, news would be released and then there was a 24-hour cycle essentially driven by newspapers – with radio playing a bit of a role with breaking news but not particularly significantly. In the initial phases, political parties were posting releases directly to the site themselves and very quickly they started communicating with each other. Prior to that, the press secretaries would have to wander around the press gallery and try and find a press release off one of the press gallery reporters from the opposition and sneak off and try and respond to it. Then suddenly it was all happening in real time. I think it revolutionised the way politics was actually conducted in the sense that suddenly it coincided with the introduction of MMP in 1997. The first step was the Winston Peters great coalition negotiations which went on interminably and it fit very nicely within the new paradigm of a political system where people did have to talk to each other a great deal more in order to get things done. Simultaneously, it also enabled the public to know exactly what was really being said by the politicians in real time and for them to participate as well. Suddenly it allowed the communications professionals outside of parliament to directly communicate around the issues of the day at the time they were being discussed.”


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