Advice for bloggers at the Dem convention

· Event blogging

Anyone blogging the DNC, whether onsite or just watching the show on TV, would do well to read Jay Rosen’s analysis of the first two failed regimes of convention coverage (PressThink: Convention Coverage is a Failed Regime and Bloggers Have Their Credentials):

Know your history, especially what happened to the first regime in convention coverage, why it yielded to television and how it became a degraded media event. Don’t join up with the second regime, whose story went dead a long time ago. Pick up from where Koppel walked out in ’96, and find a reason walk in. If you have your reason, but are in doubt on what to write about, then ask yourself who sent you and your laptop to Beantown. Post an account for them.
Report backwards to whatever place you came from– including the opinions you came from, the political place. Feed the user’s advice forward into your choices during the three days of whirling events. With your credentials you’re part of the interactive revolution in political writing done real time, and if you can make your work in Boston more truly interactive you can do interesting work and even break ground.
Interview people who seem to have hold of the political moment, no matter where they stand in some hierarchy. Amplify the human voice of dissent, no matter what kind of dissent it is. (Dissent from the control thesis, or voiced against the irony police, is just as good as old fashioned political dissent.) Write across the highly politicized space separating the people with passes to the convention and the petitioners outside. Guaranteed: they don’t buy the script, either.
Ideally, everything at the convention that is familar and ho-hum to the national press corps and its aspirants will seem strange and (almost) inexplicable to the blogger with fresh eyes. It would be better not to know beforehand things like: the convention is just a reality show. Against the collapsed hulk of this narrative the tiny tribe of bloggers can make no real dent. That show will go on; it’s already started in the buzz about Boston.
All the bloggers can do is begin their reckoning somewhere else, far away from the narrative’s dead zones. Six thousand people from all over the nation are coming to renew a ritual in American democracy, and it badly needs renewal.