Please Put A Blogger On Your Radio Show

(9:45PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

June 29, 2008

The Media Project

WAMC, Northeast Public Radio

318 Central Avenue

Albany, New York 12206

Dear Alan, Ira, Elisa and Rex:

This evening, again, the subject of Blogs came up during your show, the Media Project.  And, to nobody’s particular surprise, the usual, superficial analysis was quickly dispensed: bloggers are not journalists, blogs have no quality control, blogs are too quick, blogs have no restraints, blogs by anonymous writers are irresponsible, blogs don’t gather news, some blogs print “horrible” things. I’ve come to expect this.

The fact is that there are millions of blogs.  For political and cultural analysis these come in two main types: group blogs (e.g., daily Kos in left Blogistan) and individual blogs.  Individual blogs, like newspapers, radio, and TV, have enormous variations in intelligence and quality.  Some are absolutely brilliant; others, unreadable.  But both kinds of blogs are extremely democratic: anybody with access to a computer can be a writer and express an opinion or an analysis or spread a story.  Anybody with a comment about a story is free to post it.  Yoanni Sanchez, a prizewinning Cuban blogger, uses the computer at the local library.  One doesn’t need money to be a blogger.  Only time and desire.  Bloggers who are no good remain unread and eventually give up.  Bloggers who have something to say are ultimately recognized and build a readership.

I say all of this because I don’t think your show sufficiently acknowledges the importance of blogs, and it’s important that you begin to.  Newspapers are cutting back and dying, radio and television are consolidating and moving news to entertainment and propaganda. Blogs continue to grow in influence and importance.  Simply put, blogs are the important, new medium.  In fact, some newspapers and radio stations attempt to put up blogs, to compete, but in general these are just not the same thing as blogs that are supported only by the writers’ time, energy, desire and persistence.

Why am I writing all of this?  Because “Teh Blogs” deserve a seat on the Media Project.  They provide an important viewpoint you ought to be providing your listeners.  And nobody can explain blogging and its role in media as well as someone actually involved in it.  In fact, only someone who is actively involved in blogging, which seems to involve reading lots of other blogs in addition to writing, can provide insight into what actually happened in the blogosphere in the past week.  You’d be surprised to note that events in the blogosphere frequently don’t dwell on the same stories as the traditional media.

You don’t have to invite me to sit in.  There are lots of other people who could do a wonderful job at this.  You can pick the blogger of your choice.

Are the blogs powerful enough, important enough to deserve this kind of consideration?  A simple demonstration.  I won’t mail this letter to you.  I’ll just post it on two small blogs, my own, The Dream Antilles, and my favorite group blog, Docudharma.  I’m relatively sure you’ll find out about my opinion and the comments of many others through the magic of the blogs.

Sincerely,

David Seth Michaels

P.S.  I use the name “davidseth” when I blog.  Anybody who cares can easily find my full name and where I am.  I do this because I stand behind every single word I write.

18 comments

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  1. And as Magic Sam used to say, “1, 2, you know what to do.”

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Crooks & Liars has this up:

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/

    Sy Hersh on a talk show today, about his new story in The New Yorker: special ops are already in Iran as a drumbeat for war with Iran goes on.  It’s a great clip, if you haven’t seen it.  His story is here:

    http://www.newyorker.com/repor

    Just FYI (and forgive me if this is off-topic, it just seems really important).

    • Viet71 on June 30, 2008 at 4:01 am

    send your message into the atmosphere.

    Some day, bloggers will control politics.

    Keep on with your message.

    Right on.  Jon

  3. Some folks get it early.  Some folks are a little late!

  4. It’s quite ironic, isn’t it that a medium–radio–that broadcasts the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Michael Reagan, etc. can actually say something this idiotic (& I realize you’re paraphrasing):  

    “…blogs have no quality control, blogs are too quick, blogs have no restraints, blogs by anonymous writers are irresponsible, blogs don’t gather news, some blogs print “horrible” things…”

    Then there’s Fox “news”, who hasn’t had a positive or unbiased thing to say about the “Democrat” Party since they’ve gone on the air.  And lastly, let’s not foget those “responsible” “journalists” like Judith Miller and William Kristol, et al who did all that “research” about WMD in Iraq and then then held the Administration’s feet to the fire after an unnecessary war was started and there were no WMD found… Except that they didn’t do the research or hold the Administration accountable–instead they were part of a disinformation campaign.  

    Just because someone works for the traditional media doesn’t automatically make them a “journalist”. Conversely, because someone posts on a blog doesn’t mean they are not a “journalist”.   I’m sure if Thomas Paine were alive today, writing a blog called “Common Sense” he would be dismissed by the “real” print “journalists”.  After all, his pamphlet, “Common Sense” was:  

    “…Published anonymously by Thomas Paine in January of 1776…”

    Do the people in the media have some valid criticism of bloggers and blogs?  IMHO, yes–sometimes incorrect information gets out and is spread before it is independently confirmed, but the same is true of the MSM.  Sometimes horrible things are said; but considering the number of people blurting out information and getting and giving immediate feedback, that will occasionally happen.

    I think the real issue is that the “traditional”, or “conventional”, media people are feeling just a bit threatened by the rise of the blogs, and their influence on politics and on spreading news.  They’re still coming to terms with how to deal with the rise of competition and their own place in the big scheme of things in the future.

  5. internet 2 world you might be allowed access to the plastic world of AOL style consumeristic consumption by swiping your 666 Mark of the Beast implanted microchip over the mousepad of your laptop.  All digital transactions are of course recorded for future use against you as dissenting opinions have been labeled as terrorist actions.

    Yes, they surely know who I am also.

  6. I really think it’s important period.  

    If any of us want the right slant — I believe, this is where we would come.  I think there is so much of an earnest effort made here by contributors that many would do well to listen!

    Thanks again!  😉

    • WSComn on June 30, 2008 at 6:32 am

    I read your essay’s title and I thought you wanted me to put a blogger on my radio show.

    I didn’t know how I was going to break it to you that I don’t have a radio show, let alone a personal blog!

    Whew!

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