Monday, March 14, 2005

Blogging In The Free World!!!

Last week alone, two blogging milestones have happened---upping the tempo of the pace bloggers have taken in recent months. The blogosphere is like a machine humming with so much power that when it finally runs, it could not control its own inertia. That’s how blogging is nowadays. There is a whirling pace within us that catches us somewhat off-hand not realizing what really happened until we see it actually happening. There seems to be no turning back now and bloggers all over the world should keep on pushing and pushing until we see the limit in sight---if there is such thing as a limit to blogging.

According to a news report from CNN, lawmakers and online journalists in America have most recently called on the Federal Election Commission, otherwise known as FEC, to keep its hands off political forums on the web like Wonkette.Com and FreeRepublic.Com. Fourteen members of the House of the Representatives have said that blogs foster a welcome diversity of viewpoints and they should be treated with the same stature and rights like common journalists have. Apparently, there was some move within the U.S. judiciary to classify these online political sites as political organizations, or something related thereto, which would make them the subject of election regulations, especially on matters of political contributions. In 2001, FEC had determined these online forums as not amounting to “coordinated political activity”, and therefore not subject to existing election regulations.

At times, people in the high-ups are just plain inadequate or perhaps just hopelessly lazy. How could they generalize so easily on matters like blogs and blogging and determine things like they are the same apple in the same basket. What FEC should have done is to examine each political blog one by one and find out whether or not they are of “concerted political activity” or not. I am sure that many political web logs are credible and legitimate enough to withstand any scrutiny although nobody could exactly discount the fact that some sites in the Internet may just as well be paid hacks and political mercenaries. Here’s an easy test, if a political web log starts to paste on their pages some segments that says “Bush Is My Man!” or “Gloria Ang Ating Bida” then who’s to doubt as to their being paid pundits? Would it take a genius to distinguish these things? I don’t think so.

The other blogging milestone I have referred to above was the issuance of a White House pass to blogger Garrett M. Graff, the 23-year-old writer for a web log known as Fishbowl D.C. Mr. Graff is said to be the first blogger ever to have been treated just like any regular journalist covering presidential activities and to be allowed inside the White House briefing room. When he was asked how it felt on his first day of coverage, he just said: "Our first impression this morning? As glamorous as the beat itself may be, there's little glamour to be found in the briefing room. The conditions of the briefing room, famously built over the old White House swimming pool, um, leave something to be desired."

Remember that name. Garrett M. Graff is making blogging history even as we speak now.

In the Philippines, we may still need to see some brave souls that will push the level of blogging by a step higher---just like in America. The first person to enter that MalacaƱang briefing room as a blogger journalist is surely to be remembered as a blogosphere hero and will be remembered in many years to come. Any volunteer?
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