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08/26/2004

Republican National Convention shuns bloggers?

B.L. Ochman's Whatsnextblog notes that with just a week to go before the Republican National Convention is to get underway in New York "only 20 people are planning to blog the event -- vs. 120 who blogged the Democratic Convention last month, according to Cyberjournalist. Two of the blogs are by NYU Journalism Professor and media critic Jay Rosen. Also among the bloggers are David Adesnik of OxBlog and Scott Sala for Slant Point."

Why were so few invited? There is definitely no shortage of conservative/Republican bloggers. Have convention organizers neglected to cultivate relationships with key and influential bloggers in the run-up to the event?

The Wall Street Journal reports that "the official blogger group will number about 15, a tiny fraction of the estimated 15,000 journalists expected, and less than half the size of the accredited Boston blogger set. 'That's just the number we landed on,' said convention spokeswoman Alyssa McClenning. She wouldn't discuss how convention planners chose the group, but said the bloggers 'reflected a mix of ideologies.' Adding to the blend are some delegates and traditional journalists who also plan to blog from the convention.

"In the accreditation process, Republican convention organizers invited particular bloggers, while the Democrats used applications. But the result is the same: a lot of home-team support. Most Boston bloggers were solidly in the John Kerry camp, while most New York bloggers plan to vote for President Bush. A handful of centrist bloggers are attending both."

Low blogger turnout at the RNC can only cement the party's stodgy, fuddy-duddy image. What's more, one-sixth the number of bloggers covering the event translates to one-sixth the coverage (depending on the readership of the blogs involved, of course). RNC organizers can't afford to ignore the reach and increasing influence of the blogosphere. In a presidential race that could go either way, every vote counts. //Billy McCormac

August 26, 2004 in Posts in English | Permalink

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