Blogging Down the Walls of Politics

3 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar
With the Democratic National Convention well underway, bloggers have been busy covering every aspect of the political event. Hundreds of bloggers descended upon Denver on Monday and will do so into St. Paul next week for the Republican National Convention. As with the changing face of politics, both parties understand the need to allow bloggers, who are often self-supported, into the fray, as they embrace the new social medium that is fast replacing television and other traditional media that has long been the primary resource of reaching out to voters. Blogging's ability to capture and comment on events minute by minute is far more advantageous in covering each day's events. In addition, bloggers are able to cater to online audiences, who are used to being catered to in such a way. While political conventions usually aim to unite a party, they have often been rather inclusive when it comes to who receives credentials and access. Blogging, it seems, has made great strides in breaking down the "walled gardens" of political conventions; a win-win move that allows campaigns access to much larger audiences and bloggers entry into one of the most major political events. Bloggers have perceived their access to cover such a democratic event, as a right, not merely a privilege as they would argue that it is they, more so than those about which they are reporting, are the voice of the people. For next week, the RNC has issued 200 blogger credentials, while Denver sought to create two types of credentials: national, which offers the same access granted to members of the traditional press; and blogger credentials, which allows one blogger per state to cover the convention alongside its state delegation, with unlimited floor access.While much has been made about the one blogger, one state allowance, bloggers seem to be enjoying some perks of being in Denver, namely access to the Big Tent, an 8,000-square-foot two-story structure adjacent to where the convention is being held. According to the New York Times, "for a $100 entrance fee, 400 credentialed bloggers will be allowed to enter the air-conditioned space, hosted by a coalition of progressive blogs and organizations and sponsored by the Web sites Google and Digg, where they can eat meals and find work spaces with Wi-Fi".As the respective parties make room for blogging, this year's efforts indicate that political campaigns (sometimes more than their actual candidates) are embracing Web 2.0 technologies and new media to enhance their communication efforts.

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