“Blogging on the Hustings”

The American Journalism Review has published Marc Fisher’s feature on the Virginia blogosphere. Fisher, a Washington Post columnist, did a great job of capturing the vibrancy of blogging in the Old Dominion. Not Larry Sabato, Commonwealth Conservative, Waldo Jaquith, Raising Kaine, 750 Volts, Change Servant, Bacon’s Rebellion and Road to Ruin all garner mentions.

According to Fisher, Virginia has one of the most vibrant political blogging communities in the country. Bloggers have been a factor in national politics for a few years now, but Virginia bloggers are the first in the nation to become a major factor in a gubernatorial election.

In Virginia, one of only two states that hold gubernatorial elections the year after a presidential race, blogs became important enough that some campaign managers neglected their daily duties to obsess over the latest blogospheric gossip, state regulators began watching the blogs for compliance with campaign finance laws, lawmakers started grumbling about how to regulate speech on the blogs, and bloggers themselves began talking about setting standards and figuring out just how much coordination makes sense in a fraternity of extreme individualists.

Fisher’s broad conclusion:

Blogs – an amorphous mix of opinion and fact, grass roots and establishment that is already changing the dynamics of politics in the Internet era – are not journalism as we’ve known it, but they will be an essential tool in the transformation to whatever comes next.

Overall, it’s a thoughtful, well balanced piece, well worth reading. Not a bad job, coming from an unrepentent member of the MSM!

Waldo Jaquith has posted on the column already, as has Will Vehrs at Commonwealth Conservative.

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4 responses to ““Blogging on the Hustings””

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Oh for goodness sake….”a major factor in a gubernatorial election….”??? Hey, you can fool your friends and I can fool mine but let’s not try to fool each other.

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar

    OK, not “a major factor”…. Would you settle for just “a factor”?

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Hmmm…”a factor”? Okay, in the sense that a grain of sand is “a factor” on a beach.

  4. Colin Morris Avatar
    Colin Morris

    Dear Anonymous,
    Relax. Your subtext, which seems to be that blogs are inconsequential in politics, is not well-supported.

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