What conference were they at?
First, let me say thanks to ATT, Wispolitics.com and Marquette Law School for hosting yesterday’s blog summit. As another blogger said to me yesterday, if you offer free coffee and donuts I’m there. But was the headline to walk away from yesterday’s blog conference “PANELISTS LAMENT BLOGOSPHERE’S LACK OF DIVERSITY AT BLOG SUMMIT”? Here’s a headline Wispolitics.com could have used covering their own event that would’ve been a little more in the spirit of the morning, “Corporate media taking over blogging; women, minorities hardest hit.”
The “panelists” discussing the lack of ethnic diversity among the local political bloggers were, conveniently enough, on a panel to discuss whether there was enough diversity among local political bloggers (the “Cheddarsphere”), one of five panels that day. Bloggers from both sides of the political divide I think were interested in the topic, and I even had a cordial two minutes with Eugene Kane after the segment following up something he mentioned about minority media companies not making the investment in that kind of technology in this city.
I’ll grant that the room was less diverse than my Waukesha neighborhood. And speaking as the sole Polish-Irish-Norwegian-Conservative-Catholic Convert from Waukesha in the room yesterday, I gotta say I was feeling just as oppressed as my fellow blogger Jennifer Morales. You go, sister!
If there was a theme to this year’s summit, it was the tension between corporate media blogs and the independent blogger. (For the record, I’m willing to sell out for big, big bucks.) I don’t think that tension was eased by the conference, and possibly made worse by Tim Cuprisin’s defense of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s giving of blog space to politicians.
Creating a single panel to discuss an issue and then to proclaim it as the main topic of discussion for the summit in the headline and in the first five paragraphs is manufacturing the news, not observing it. Heck, Wispolitics could’ve brought back Dennis Shook to pre-write the story about the bloggers’ lamentations causing a flood of tears down Wisconsin Avenue.
Wispolitics.com’s coverage of their event is the type of coverage that makes bloggers and the general public suspicious of the media, and it doesn’t matter whether that media is online or not. By the way, Wispolitics.com’s Wisopinion.com site doesn’t feature a single blog of color on their front page, and only two blogs by women.
And next year will somebody please remind me to wear a wrinkle free shirt if I’m going to be squeezed into a media template?
Thanks for the coffee.