The 2008 Presidential Campaign gives Time magazine's James Poniewozik the chance to expound his theory that the 24-hour news cycle is dead. In its place, thanks to digital technology and the 'unofficial media', is the 24-minute news cycle.

"If you follow campaign news, you'll see this cycle in action several times a day, with stories sprouting, blooming and dying like flowers in time-lapse photography," he says.

The result is a media that is forced to raise the tension of the debate because it is operating at a speed that the politics can't possibly expect to keep up with: there simply aren't enough real stories for that.

"The cycle got its most vigorous workout during the whirlwind introduction of Sarah Palin. John McCain's Veep passed from surprise (who is this woman?) to novelty (beauty queen who shoots moose) to scandal (her daughter's pregnant) to obituary (will McCain drop her?) to resurrection (she's a pit bull with lipstick) to skepticism (but can she appeal beyond the base?) at the speed of a snowmobile."


The 24-minute news cycle