East Tennessean R. Neal is already in Denver, posting many activities as the event gets underway. A sample photo of the convention center and the security fencing is show below, BUT I want to stress a few things about this new kind of political coverage so peek at the pic, but please read on.
What's happening this week via Neal's reports and comments (which you can easily track with this nifty feed full of links he's provided) and the reports from all those other folks means we're getting fresh perspectives on how our political, social and technological actually works, far ahead of the typical dry old media approach. He's already made numerous posts about just how the convention works, a view from the inside which will be uniquely his own. It's a civic lesson of sorts and I am already learning things -- and he is hardly alone in reporting and writing and photographing a complex political creation.
An article in today's NYTimes calls this the Year of the Political Blogger:
"While many Americans may watch only prime-time television broadcasts of the convention speeches, party officials also recognize the ability of bloggers to deliver minute-by-minute coverage of each day’s events to a niche online audience.
“The goal is to bring down the walls of the convention and invite in an audience that’s as large as possible,” said Aaron Myers, the director of online communications for the Democratic National Convention Committee. “Credentialing more bloggers opens up all sorts of new audiences.”
Many raised the money for the travel and other needs online, some paid for it themselves, and even the so-called 'credentialed' bloggers concept was expanded in recent weeks to allow for even more bloggers to get that inside look. One person with a laptop and a wee camera can do what used to take an army of media employees, hefting cameras and trailing microphone cords at the direction of some producers in van parked outside a convention center. And there are hundreds of folks at the convention with that kind of media power now - not professional.
So, as this week unfolds, I'll be attending the convention too, as I never could before. And I'm working on my own speech which I will present as well. It is gonna be a doozy.