I’m the Director of Online Communications at the Democratic Convention, as Markos mentioned yesterday.
There are a few important points worth noting in response to Markos:
1. The Convention blogging program is a very good thing. This will be the most historic political convention of our lifetime. Blogs will be credentialed in greater numbers than ever before. By far. And in a Convention first, bloggers will be seated on the Convention floor – unprecedented access for members of the media. That’s something that should be celebrated. Plenty of good people on the Convention staff are working hard to make sure bloggers have access and respect when they arrive in Denver. We’re planning blogger-specific facilities, and we’re helping the organizers of the DKos-sponsored Big Tent. This is an impressive program. Let’s not lose sight of that.
2. More credentials are on the way. Last week, we credentialed 55 state blogs – the tip of the iceberg. The current list of credentialed blogs isn’t changing. It’s growing. Many more blogs will be credentialed in the coming weeks. We’ll announce more state, local, and national blogs. We’ll announce issue-focused blogs and blogs speaking to a wide variety of audiences. Folks will be pleased with the unique access provided to state bloggers and to this additional "General Blogger Pool." We encourage you to stay tuned. You’ve only heard part of the story.
3. No state is home to only one good blog. When we announced the blogger credentialing program last year, we expected that some states would have several great blog applicants. We were right. And they come in all shapes and sizes. Some blogs are decidedly activist. Others are run by citizen journalists. Some are individual efforts. Others are fulltime professional endeavors. And many are group blogs written by grassroots communities. It’s a wide variety. No one type of blog trumped any other in the credentialing process. We weren’t rewarding friends or favorites. We didn’t hand off this project to state party officials, as was rumored. The DNCC published a list of requirements, we read applications, and we looked at lots of blogs. In the end, we credentialed 55 great ones. They don’t all look the same -- and that’s good. Each brings us closer to the goal of expanding the Convention’s online audience. As I said earlier, the DNCC will credential even more state-focused blogs shortly.
4. All bloggers will have unbeatable access. Markos has implied that this forthcoming list of "General Pool" blogs will not have access to the state delegations at the Convention. That’s incorrect. At previous Democratic Conventions and again in Denver, state delegates spend much of their day meeting outside of the convention hall. All bloggers and other members of the media will be aware of state gatherings. They’ll have the same access to provide the same level of coverage. And "General Pool" bloggers will be able to walk around and gather information on the convention floor via "floor passes." Any credentialed blogger will have unparalleled access to their state delegation -- and to this Convention as a whole. It’s that simple.
Convention blogger credentialing exists to open the event to more people than ever before. In August, you may choose to follow the action on TV, on a video blog, or on a state-focused blog. Regardless, you’ll be watching history in the making. And that’s what matters most.