Pack blogging, journalism, and sense making

Recently, Jay Rosen and Arianna Huffington announced a new joint venture in campaign journalism, an effort citizen journalism into the mix to counter the pack journalism that Timothy Crouse described in his book, The Boys on the Bus.

I wrote my first comments about it in a blog entry entitled Perspectives in which I wrote,

However, I worry that it might be the same rich white ivy school educated young men that I run into on the blogs and the conferences across our country. I worry that the discourse might end up being not substantially different from the nasty, horse race, Coke or Pepsi type coverage that we see in the traditional mainstream media.

Jay responded over at PressThink, “We’re going to try not to do that, Aldon, because that would be unfortunate, boring and dumb.” Since then, Jay and I have exchanged emails about promoting diversity in the project and I look forward to talking to him face to face about this soon.

Beyond the diversity, there is the issue of pack journalism. I figured I should go back and read The Boys on the Bus, which has helped keep me sane and focused as I fight the latest cold that has been brought home. It is a fascinating read for me as I think about how technology has changed, but the pack mentality has stayed very similar.

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Shays does something right!

The other day I received an email from some of my disenfranchised activist friends in Washington DC. They were encouraging me, and others to write to our congress people to support HR 1433 To provide for the treatment of the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, and for other purposes..

Before I wrote my email to Rep. Shays, I thought I should take a closer at the bill. It has an interesting set of co-sponsors. From California, it has Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman and Darrell Issa. Talk about crossing the political spectrum! It has Steve Rothman from New Jersey, Jerry Nadler from New York, John Conyers from Michigan, and even Steny Hoyer from Maryland.

So, who is supporting this bill from Connecticut? So far the only cosponsor is Rep. Shays. So, I’ve actually sent Rep. Shays a message complimenting him on this. Perhaps other people in the State can get the rest of the Connecticut delegation on board.
(Cross posted to My Left Nutmeg)

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I believe it was from the Freedom to Connect conference that I learned about Bubblr, a web 2.0 Flickr mashup tool.

I've now created my first mashup using Bubblr. Enjoy.

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Josh Wolf to be freed

I've just heard that Josh Wolf is being released. Josh has spent a record amount of time in jail for refusing to comply with a grand jury request for his testimony about videos that he shot. He has released the video on his blog.

There are plenty of interesting links on the blog, as well as quite a discussion about the case.

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When Kim and I first started dating, Kim’s mother was still alive, battling cancer. It cast a tint on everything we did. When Kim trotted me out on the obligatory, “new boyfriend tour”, we visited some of her oldest and closest friends on Cape Cod.

These were people that we could talk openly and honestly with. On the porch in the evenings, we would joke about how people talked about Kim’s mother’s cancer. They would always say "cancer". By this typographic notation, I’m trying to indicate the way they said it. They would lean their head forward, look both to the left and the right to make sure no one else was listening, or could hear, and then say in an urgent loud whisper, the word cancer.

You see, for many of them, cancer isn’t a word you can say normally. It is similar to "vagina". Perhaps this is, in part, because of the cancers we seem to hear the most about are breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostrate cancer and colon cancer.

After six weeks, the cancer took Kim’s mother. A few years later, our good friend on the Cape had her own serious battle with cancer. She blogged about her experiences, and you could see there, the difficulties that people had talking about cancer.

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