Blogging the Convention: Wrap-Up

I'm back from the Democratic National Convention. It was one of the best experiences I've had in years. Seriously. There was not a moment of downtime or boredom. The comraderie among the bloggers, most of whom had never met in person before this week, was outstanding. I give the adventure/experiment an A-.

Weblogs are as diverse as their authors. Their goals in covering the convention varied. Some wanted to cover the media. Some wanted to cover the delegates and speeches. Others wanted to make the convention alive for readers, so they could feel they were present. Most of the bloggers announced their goals before arriving in Boston. Here were mine, followed by some personal thoughts as to whether I achieved them:

Washington Post:

"I'm committed to seeing Bush out of office in November and want to do what I can to help," says Jeralyn Merritt, a Denver defense lawyer who writes the TalkLeft blog. "To me the purpose of a convention is solidarity and getting strength from each other and renewed commitment to a joint purpose. I am a cheerleader. I am a partisan. I am an advocate. My goal is to get everyone else stirred up."


My general strategy is to provide news with attitude and enthusiasm. I want my readers to feel like they are there with me. I hope to capture and convey the sense of unity, enthusiasm and resolve among Democrats to win in November. I will concentrate on civil liberties, terrorism, criminal-justice issues and the war in Iraq. I also will report on the convention process and the mainstream media. I will be an advocate and critic rather than a neutral observer of what I report.

Wall St. Journal (available free):

Why should people read your coverage? I will be a passionate advocate for Democrats who want to take back the White House and Congress, end the war in Iraq and prevent the passage of more laws like the Patriot Act. ... I'm not a journalist or a political strategist. I'm a citizen who wants to be a participant instead of a bystander.

Did I achieve any of these goals?

My initial thought is that I was most successful at having readers feel like they were there with me--and in conveying the enthusiasm and sense of unity of those in the hall. (Click here and scroll down to "#1.) I think my photos were good, particularly those of the protester's signs and police.

Regrets? There were not enough references to civil liberties, the Patriot Act or criminal justice issues coming from the podium. We had hoped to provide more posts related to these issues. They just weren't topics on the Democrats' agenda, and that was a shame. We did interview Sens. Durbin and Harkin on these issues, but frankly, our pre-convention coverage them is far better. (in the search box on the right, type in Durbin or Patriot Act)

All of TalkLeft's DNC coverage is accessible here so you can judge for yourselves how I did.

I have nothing but praise and a big thank you to the DNCC and the many staffers who made the experience an exceptional one for us. I also thank TalkLeft's loyal readers who contributed financially and made the trip possible for us--and my convention co-bloggers who were both gracious and fun. Like John Kerry and his "band of brothers," we became a "band of bloggers," looking out for each other, sharing opportunities and providing support and friendship.

I'm considering covering the RNC in New York with other liberal bloggers and blogging from the streets, since the RNC is not going to give us press credentials. I'd prefer it if a media organization would sponsor TalkLeft and provide me with a press pass. Should that happen, you all will be the first to know.

I'm taking the day off from blogging and the news after which TalkLeft will return to its pre-convention self. TChris has put in a few posts this weekend, and will continue to contribute, unless the Supreme Court accepts his Blakely Case (US v. Booker, one of the two the Government has sought to appeal) in which case, it will be a few months before he's back. But he promises he will return as soon as that case is over.

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