The internet encourages the emergence of opinion leaders from any 'level' of society. Personal stories may be one of the best contributions an individual can make to a political debate. Unlike academic arguments, moral posturing or statistics, personal stories convey an immediacy of experience that can carry far more weight and may help root policy in reality.
The conventional media tells some powerful personal stories and is supplemented by blogs and video posts that allow anyone to contribute. (An example is this blog by Adrian Sudbury, which was highlighted by BBC Breakfast TV and seeks to encourage bone marrow donations.)