Seattle Times champions gay marriage via social media campaign

Seattle Times champions gay marriage via social media campaign

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by ROBERT MAK / KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 18 at 9:37 AM

Over the years, there have been specific issues on which The Seattle Times has used the power of its editorial page to promote its view, from affirmative action and Initiative 200 to net neutrality.

Now, comes the same-sex marriage referendum, and this is the first time the newspaper is adding a social media campaign.

It started over the weekend. The times posted its editorial urging an "approve" vote on same-sex marriage.

Then, the times printed a sign and asked its readers to take a picture of themselves with that sign.

On Monday morning, the times opinion page started posting those pictures from politicians, couples, families and then, the times started tweeting links to those pictures.

Kathy Gill, who teaches at the University of Washington, says it's an example of a newspaper trying to go beyond a more passive editorial.

"And this is not passive, this is active this is asking people to do something that you then share on your platform, in your publication,” she said.

"Those people are going to talk about the Seatlte Times, share that story, share that brand, if you want to think about it it in terms of business, if you want to think about it in terms of public policy it is sharing that political view, which is what news organizations do on their op-ed pages.”

The social media campaign also includes Facebook. The Times opinion staff has devoted its Facebook page to the effort.

While one reader described the campaign as "tacky,” other readers have applauded the editorials.

While the times is getting a lot of interaction on its campaign, Pastor Joe Fuiten, a same-sex marriage opponent, says he doesn't think using social media is a great novelty anymore and he doubts that on an issue like this the times will have much effect on how voters think.

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