Monday, January 03, 2005

The Darn Floor Awareness Project

Lucas at Wild Wisconsin writes that Eau Claire Leader-Telegram columnist Michael Klein had given him a nod yesterday in a column about blogs.

Klein's column is a pretty good assessment of blogs, though it starts out on a snarky note:

Blogs came into their own in 2004 in all their intemperate but colorful glory, offering refreshing insights and a lot of self-congratulatory pap.

Bloggers also charged into some ugly feuds with each other and the mainstream media — the MSM, bloggers call it — bringing public exchanges of cheap shots not seen since 19th century newspapers slugged it out.

Klein must be paying close attention to blogs, because even the Power Line/Nick Coleman feud found its way into the column.

Bloggers are not afraid to go after traditional reporters they see as lazy or biased, which has led to MSM-blogger conflicts.

Powerline, a blog written by three Minneapolis attorneys, recently was named Blog of the Year by Time Magazine for leading the bloggers’ investigation that revealed the CBS “60 Minutes” story on George W. Bush’s Air National Guard Service was built on forgeries.

But last week, Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman wrote a column criticizing Powerline, which in the past had ripped him.

Coleman wrote: “They (Powerline bloggers) attack the mainstream media for not being fair while pursuing a right-wing agenda cooked up in conservative think tanks funded by millionaire power brokers.”

In its response, Powerline called Coleman “a little-read, third-rate columnist for a second-tier daily newspaper.” Powerline’s fellow conservative bloggers piled on Coleman, calling him jealous, lazy, cowardly, even insane.

It would take dozens of column inches to fully flesh out the feud. Let's just marvel at the fact that other newspapers are writing about it. (Selah!)

But Klein also had this to say:

Although Wisconsin, and particularly Minnesota, had many blogs that made a splash on the political scene, western Wisconsin has seen little effect so far.

. . .

So far the Leader-Telegram has been almost untouched by bloggers, as almost none write about Chippewa Valley news. That may be because small newspapers such as the Leader-Telegram are by nature closer to their communities. Local residents are more likely to get their views quoted and letters published in the Leader-Telegram than, say, in The New York Times. And if they don’t like something, they easily can contact a reporter to voice their displeasure. And they frequently do.

Still, I have no doubt the bloggers will come nipping at our heels at some point. And we should welcome the feedback — at least they believe we’re relevant.
Guess I'd better get started on the Darn Floor Awareness Project.

I have written about a few Chippewa Valley news items. The local media coverage of the Sawyer County shootings got my attention. And I've been writing quite a bit about the UW-EC Service Learning controversy (and will likely write more about it in the coming month, given that the controversy is far from over.) The Leader-Telegram itself has also been mentioned here at Darn Floor.

If I err, I err in paying more attention to national news than local news. But perhaps I ought to give local issues a closer look. And perhaps I ought to drop Mr. Klein a note and let him know that there's at least one blogger right here in his backyard. (And I have no doubt there are more.) Accountability should work both ways. Far be it from me to criticize the local media if I do not also allow criticism.

So I should probably kick the Darn Floor Awareness Project into high gear.

Jib is trying to organize a Badger Bloggers Alliance of some sort, and I think it's time to kick that into high gear, too.

More: Kathy (with a K) the Cake Eater says I am an "attention-seeking whore." Guilty as charged.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger Kathleen Nelson said...

You know, if you want me to leave your gratuitous PR link up on my blog, well, ahem...

...Kathy is spelled with a 'K.'

Damnit! ;)

/pet peeve

At 7:24 PM, Blogger Drew said...

Oops. (I knew that, too.) Fixing it right now!

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Kathleen Nelson said...



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