Tuesday, March 15, 2005


A follow up to the prior post on the study of the political blogosphere, The New York Times has an article on how liberal bloggers are reaching out to the mainstream media to be heard over their right-wing counterparts. Sort of funny, huh? Why don't they just write stuff or coordinate an effort that will be worthy of press? It's like the second child crying out to the parents for more attention.

Even as online pundits criticize traditional news organizations as slow, biased and technologically challenged, a group of bloggers is trying to use old-fashioned telephone conference calls to share their ideas with newspaper and television journalists.

The bloggers, who describe themselves as liberal or progressive, say the conference calls are intended to counter what they regard as the much stronger influence of conservative pundits online. Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com, the host of the two calls so far, views them as a step toward getting their reports out to mainstream news organizations.

While there is no way to know precisely who dialed in, reporters from news organizations including CBS, The Washington Post, Newsweek, MSNBC and The National Journal asked for a call-in number, according to one participant.

"We hope to build a bridge," Mr. Fertik said, adding that different bloggers would be invited to share their reporting on each call. "We hope that good credible stories that are broken on the Internet find their way into coverage in the mainstream media."
Some on the right disagree, arguing that the news reported by traditional media is tainted by liberal bias. "We learned years ago that the mainstream media just weren't going to pay attention to us," said Kristinn Taylor of the Web site FreeRepublic.com.

But bloggers on all sides agree that the left has made less effective use of the opportunities to organize and wield influence afforded by the Internet. The reasons, though, are more complex than they might appear. "It's not just a story about the blogosphere," said Jack M. Balkin, a professor and director of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. "It's a story about the conservative social networks of which the blogosphere is a part. The important thing is the network - and I mean the social network."
(full article)

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