DNC to Welcome Bloggers at Convention

400 journalists from around the country yesterday attended the media walk-through at Denver's Pepsi Center, the site of the Democratic Convention in August. There were tours of the facility, a general q and a session and break-out sessions. It ended with lunch and a short talk by DNC Chair Howard Dean.

Among the mainstream media in attendance asking questions were the Houston Chronicle, AP, WNYC radio, Tribune Company, Minn. Public Radio, Univision and CNN. One reporter in attendance weirded everyone out with his security question in which he named practically every thing that could go wrong, and essentially asked whether there was an exit plan in case of an attack.

A better question was whether there would be greater food availability than there was in Boston, where the choice was Dunkin' Donuts or ....Dunkin' Donuts. They said yes.

Bloggers in attendance (that I knew): McJoan, Wendy Norris and Cara DeGette of Colorado Confidential and Aaron of Square State.

McJoan at Daily Kos has a good wrap-up. So does AP reporter George Merritt (no relation) who until recently, was a reporter with the Denver Post.

Ok, now the important part. The bottom line for bloggers: [More...]

There will be two applicant groups. One for bloggers that cover a specific state's politics and one for national and "niche" bloggers, and state bloggers who didn't make the cut from the state group. As part of Dean's "50 state plan" one blogger from each state and the six territories will get credentials. They don't know how many national, niche and other blogs will be credentialed, but it won't be all of them.

Applications can be submitted on December 10, details are here.

Your blog must be at least six months old. Among the factors they will consider: the number of political posts you have written, praise for your blogging and your "technorati ranking."

As for internet access: Wi-Fi is not great at these events because of the amount of "RF"s caused by the Secret Service being in attendance. Not only is there interference but for security reasons, sometimes they shut it down entirely when a major person is arriving or speaking.

They will hard-wire most of the arena but they recommend you bring a mobile phone with blogging capacity. They are in the process of making offers to AT&T and Verizon and perhaps others to come in and strengthen the signals. If you have "mission critical" stuff to get up, like video or photos, your best bet is either wired or mobile blogging.

I asked if we were going to be in the nosebleed seats like in Boston, and whether we would have tables or desks to put our laptops on, as it was difficult in Boston trying to type with a laptop in your lap. They said they'd consider it.

They really are making an effort to accommodate bloggers. They've even hired a full time person, Jason Rosenberg (a co-founder of Politics TV), to oversee "new media" which includes bloggers and others like online newspapers that don't have a paper version.

Progress Now Action is located just a few blocks from the Pepsi Center and will be opening up their offices to bloggers who either don't get credentialed or who just want to take a break and blog from there. They are calling in ProgCon. It sounds like it will function somewhat like the Tank, where liberal bloggers gathered to blog the New York Republican convention.

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