Thursday, July 29, 2004

Political Webloggers at Conventions: Anti-Media for Non-Events?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer covers along with most of the media outlets the arrival of press-credentialed webloggers at this week's Democratic National Convention. The P-I along with others compare this to the advent of other media into the mainstream of news, but it seems to be a weak comparison at best. "Official" bloggers are very low on the reporting totem pole at this television-tailored non-event designed not for niche audiences but for the masses that tune in to hear what amounts to a video weblog from the speakers at the podium. To that end many webloggers are watching on television and the Web from home and commenting or compiling media coverage from there (great example at Wonkette), which for all of the non-drama that the convention offers is probably just as valid a form of coverage for this kind of event as trolling through second-tier buffets away from the rainmakers at the convention itself. Probably more significant is the P-I's noting that many delegates on the floor of the convention itself are offering their insights in weblogs - the kind of participant journalism that seems to be well-suited for webloggers covering events. Weblogging's power is not as much in displacing traditional journalism as it is in provding a story told plainly from the front lines of events by people who have real-life credentials that traditional journalists cannot replicate.

30 July Update: Do check out USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review's excellent summary of weblog coverage of the Democratic National Convention, including the efforts of mainstream media outlets to have their own "star" journalists and co-opted webloggers add depth to the affairs. To some degree I think that it underlines my original point, but it also adds in what mainstream journalists COULD be doing if they so chose in addition to traditional pieces - when they're not trying to be tragically hip...
Post a Comment