Even the New York Times has woken up to the fact that “The Year of the Political Blogger has Arrived.” Writing about the coverage of the party conventions by bloggers, the NYT notes that:
“This year, both parties understand the need to have greater numbers of bloggers attend. 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.”
Okay, we’re talking the US here and not NZ. Here the National Party gave its (unpaid) house blogger a pass to cover its conference and access the free bar, but denied Standardista Clinton Smith credentials. NZ journos have only just started to notice the new kid on their block, as the recent confusion over shifting roles shows (here and here).
Of course, they have bigger blogs in the US, like HuffPo and Daily Kos. Daily Kos is sending 11 people to cover the Democratic Convention. They have national media credentials, access to panel sessions, the convention center, into the stadium for the acceptance speech festivities. “We are doing interviews (already lining them up), attending breakfasts and panels and the whole nine yards.”
The major parties in the US gave press credentials to bloggers first in 2004; a dozen (GOP) and 35 (Dems) only. This year the GOP is handing out credentials to 200 bloggers. Bloggers covering the Democratic Convention get either a “national credential”, providing the same access as members of traditional news media receive, or the more coveted “state blogger credential”. The latter allows one blogger per state to cover the convention alongside its state delegation, with unlimited floor access.
There is frustration amongst the bloggers that they are not being treated equally with the old media, reflecting a growing sense of entitlement:
“This is stuff we deserve — we helped the party get people elected,” said Matt Stoller, a political consultant and a contributor to the blog Open Left, who worked as the volunteer in charge of getting credentials for bloggers at the Democratic convention four years ago. “Maybe in 2004 it was about being accommodating and innovative — but this time around there’s a real fight for power in the party.”
Take note old media in NZ. It may not happen this election, but if you want to see the future, you know where to look.