Bloggers As Troublemakers?

Any other bloggers out there get the feeling that once a politician, campaign, journalist, or others find out that you're a blogger, they have a tendency to treat you as though you are a pariah and/or assume that you're troublemaker?  Throughout this campaign cycle, I have had a few experiences that support this feeling and another one took place earlier today.

On the one hand, I understand why people are wary of bloggers and why the word elicits negative connotations.  Unfortunately, the blogosphere can be a forum for absurd rumors and hateful vitriol.  On the other hand, the blogosphere is a necessary and extremely beneficial component of our political discourse.

I haven't really seen much discussion about this issue in particular, so if you have any thoughts or similar experiences, please share.

Tags: 2008 election, blogging, challenges, cooperation, Politics, treatment (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?
I was interviewed a few weeks ago about my experience with the blogosphere by a PBS affiliated blog.  I explained that my involvement in the blogosphere moved from lurking over the past couple years to actively participating, primarily on this site, by posting and commenting.  The interview seemed straight forward; no gotcha questions, nothing partisan.
I've asked for notification when the article publishes. I will share it when I get notification.
by ChitownDenny 2008-10-14 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?

Nice.  Please do, I'd be interested in reading it.

by 2008 Central 2008-10-14 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?

It depends on the campaign. For the most part, people seem to be happy that there is someone who likes writing about politics so much.

by fbihop 2008-10-14 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?

It's not that we're troublemakers, it's that we're leaks.  Used to be that if you wanted to dish inside info about a campaign, you had to contact a reporter who then had to confirm the details with the campaign and, if they wanted to preserve access, would let the campaign BS their way out of a situation.

Contrast that with blogging: you post a detail about a campaign online, and now reporters can't really pretend that they haven't heard the story, and campaigns can't suppress those rumors and have to address them directly, and any little detail can turn into a clusterfuck for the campaign (my last full-time race, we had a paid canvasser get arrested at 2 a.m. for drunk & disorderly and resisting arrest, his mug shot was posted on the sheriff's website by 8, and the message boards of the local paper were buzzing by noon.  Suddenly a pissant who'd been on the ground for less than a week was a "campaign operative" and we had to convince local press that the story was irrelevant--that's not an outgrowth of blogging per se, but of the wider online medium; a better example is on a race I consulted for, where someone leaked in a freakin' blog comment a piece of internal  strategy that could have been embarrassing to the campaign.).  

It's really one of those things where the perceived potential risk of having the dirty laundry aired is viewed as greater than the potential benefits of throwing open the doors and letting everyone participate.  Campaigns are inherently insular and risk-averse, and blogging poses a direct challenge to both of those points.

by Jay R 2008-10-14 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?

I pretty much agree with your assessment.  Well said.  

So then my follow up question is: at some point are campaigns going to have to figure out a way to better deal with bloggers and related online media in a better way?  Or, more generally put, what direction are relations between campaigns and online media heading in?

by 2008 Central 2008-10-14 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?

Mostly towards the press model: a dedicated staffer (sometimes myself) handles blog messaging and constituency issues.  That might not be tenable as the blogosphere continues to expand into everyday life, but it generally works for the present time.

by Jay R 2008-10-16 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Bloggers As Troublemakers?

You talk to people?

You're not a real blogger.

by QTG 2008-10-14 07:51PM | 0 recs

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