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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

political blogging #2 « Previous | |Next »
February 16, 2007

Glenn Greenward, over at Unclaimed Territory has a post on political blogging that builds on this earlier post here at public opinion.The standard view in the Australian media, and amongst journalists who view bloggers as hostile competitors, is that political bloggers are foul mouthed, reckless, ignorant and wildly opinionated. These amateurs bring the commentary of professional journalists into undeserved disrepute.

Greenwald challenges the disreputable bloggers image when he says that:

The political blogosphere is driven by many factors, but the predominant one, I think, is a pervasive dissatisfaction with the dominant media and political institutions in this country. The blogosphere is essentially a reaction to that dissatisfaction -- an attempt to create an alternative venue where citizens can debate political issues and organize and inform one another without having to rely upon our country's empty media stars and the myopic, corrupt opinion-making institutions which have wrought so much damage and continue to do so.The principal value of the blogosphere is that it democratizes our political discourse almost completely.

This had the effect of getting around the media gatekeepers of the public discourse since the blogosphere enables people to say what they want, how they want, without caring if that alienates or offends a small group of Canberra Press Gallery journalists or media elites. It is part of the broad shift away from print to online publishing.

As Greenwald points out competing system that exists outside of the national political and media institutions has to be financially self-sustaining.The key issue is that have to find ways to be able to work on political advocacy and make a living at the same time. There isn't a ready made economic model to fund political advocacy. As Greenwald says:

The national corporate-backed media is a huge, sprawling, powerful network. So, too, is the multi-headed right-wing opinion-making monster composed of think tanks, subsidized magazines, and well-fed pundits. To compete with that, to battle against it, requires the building and maintaining of strong systems that are sustainable, which means, at minimum, that they are funded and financially viable.

So I can understand his shift Unclaimed Territory to Salon. it follows the trajectory of several US bloggers Kevin Drum to Washington Monthly, Andrew Sullivan to Time and Mickey Kaus to Slate ---Greenwald's first post on Salon is here.

More over at

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:41 AM |