Laina of Writing is Fighting (cheers that jimi izrael is on her blogroll) posted this entry at BlogHer today. It examines the Democratic National Committee’s blog credentialing program for its national convention this summer in Denver.
So far, the DNC has credentialed 55 state and territory blogs for the August event (start of kids’ school, including one entering high school, one entering middle school means no chance in hell I am going – didn’t even apply; Ohio Daily Blog is going), but supposedly they will credential more.
As with any type of contest the people who are not selected are bound to be upset, but in this case, especially in this historical election, issues of race, gender and the media’s influence has greatly affected the nomination, it seems as though the DNCC is being a bit wary.
It has been reported that many bloggers, even those who were selected but questioned why some in their blogging community were not have started to ask questions about the DNC selection process. Some feel that there is a bias against those who posted content that is critical of the Democratic party and some feel that the selected bloggers are simply da facto spokespersons for the party. Others wondered why some blogs were picked as according to the blog selection process, the selections were based on readership, Internet ratings and most importantly, posts that centered on the local and state politics where the bloggers reside.
Laina then mentions this article from the Dallas News that comments on the lack of diversity in the first selections:
Democrats consider affirmative action a cornerstone of their national agenda, but some minority bloggers say the party isn’t practicing what it preaches.
Last week, the national Democratic Party announced that 55 online writers had been chosen for the “State Blogger Corps,” to cover the convention in Denver in September.
But some members of the self-titled “afrosphere” — blogs written or published by African Americans — are angry that the “State Blogger Corps” appears to be mostly white, particularly since the party appears poise to nominate a black candidate, Barack Obama, for president.
“OK, folks, black bloggers to the back of the bus,” read the headline on the African American Political Pundit blog.
[Attorney Francis L. Holland] called the list “tremendously embarrassing and harmful to the Democratic Party.” The delay in announcing the minority blogs, he said, is hurting their ability to raise money for travel expenses and get vacation time.
“November’s voter turnout depends on August’s blogger outreach,” said Mr. Holland, a member of a national and international black bloggers’ coalition called “The AfroSpear.” “Blogs address constituencies, and it simply is not possible for blogs that are all-white to effectively reach diverse Democratic constituencies.”
All legitimate concerns. I hope Laina does a follow-up post after the next round of selections is announced, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing about it within a very short time after that announcement is made (I received an e-mail from the DNC last time).