Thursday, September 15, 2005

All the News . . . ? 

How do conservatives move their agenda forward, particularly when there is an openly hostile media preventing true widespread dissemination and discussion of ideas? How do the blogosphere and other alternative media outlets wrest control of the agenda from the rest of the "Mainstream" Media (MSM)? That is the topic of an intriguing post by Patrick Ruffini. He points to the media's ignoring good news that might be helpful to this administration (and to a lesser extent conservatism as a whole) such as Iraqi security forces carrying out their own successful anti-insurgent campaigns or good economic news like unemployment at a four-year low and playing up harmful stories such as the mess of Hurricane Katrina and recording every rant from Cindy Sheehan during the month of August as examples of the news being selected by choice rather than by necessity.

What Mr. Ruffini is wondering is how the blogosphere can go on the offensive and strike first in the battle of ideas. I don't have all of the answers formulated right now, but I want to fully answer his question to the best of my ability. I think some answers may be found in what Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has said about blogging. The main thing that I picked up from his excellent essays are the notion that bloggers have to be dedicated and willing to work at their blogs nearly every day in order to gain influence and attract attention and influence. I think though, that what precedes this is for bloggers to move from being mere commentators of the MSM to actual reporters of news.

Let me illustrate what I mean. When I started at Northern Kentucky University back in 1998, I soon restarted the College Republican club on campus. I was flattered and amazed at the enthusiastic response I received from State Senators "Dick" Roeding and Jack Westwood. It was fascinating to me to hear what was going on inside Frankfort apart from what I was hearing in the MSM. Perhaps, had the blogosphere been around then, we could have done a pod or webcast of our little meeting or perhaps we could have set up some kind of video conferencing or . . . you get the idea. The ideas and positions taken that day could have been distributed to a wide audience. With today's technology however, disseminating ideas is even more possible than ever. In order for the MSM's gatekeeper role to be successfully challenged, bloggers such as myself will have to work our own little circles of influence to break news instead of merely responding to news.

Those are my answers to Mr. Ruffini's questions. I hope I have made a constructive contribution to the discussion he started just a couple of days ago.

tagged as and

Friday, September 02, 2005

Grace and mercy 

Many Americans want to alleviate some of the suffering and misery caused not only by Katrina's damage, but also damage caused by flooding and lack of basic services. I have linked to N Z. Bear's list of charities and bloggers who want to link up and participate in relief efforts. I am recommending my denomination's disaster relief agency. They are seeking to address the physical and spiritual needs of the communities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Please give generously to this charity or any of the others listed on the same page. Your donation will help rebuild churches and vital ministries to the poorest and hardest hit by this disaster. I am confident that the Lord will use your generosity to bring honor and glory to his holy Name.
Please check out this link to get a list of charities and bloggers who are recommending them at

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