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PRESS Pass: Buzzfeed's Ben Smith

Editor-in-Chief of Buzzfeed, Ben Smith, weighed in on the role of social media, particularly Twitter, in the 2012 race. He cited the campaigns' ability to be "on the cutting edge" of social media and how they use it to drive conversation.

He made the point that both campaigns were aggressively engaged on Twitter, adding that campaigning is "basically the communications business.” One of the prime reasons for being engaged so heavily in the medium, Smith argues, is because both sides are interested in “shaping reporters’ first impressions” of events – and Twitter is a venue in which consensus can be built by a few influential members of the press corps that cover the candidates.

Not only does the rapid rise of social media help presidential campaigns and the reporters that cover them, Smith said it allows ordinary citizens to join the public discourse as well.

"People who had previously been outside could see that conversation and jump into it if they had interesting things to say."

Watch David's entire PRESS Pass interview with Buzzfeed's Ben Smith above to hear more from Ben Smith including why he thinks there's a learning curve when it comes to using new media.