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How does it feel? 

Dan Bricklin writes about what weblogs can do covering a convention (and other big events) that traditional media generally don’t. The crucial insight for me:

  It seems that the traditional media has turned into distinguishing itself with exclusive stories and reports that are pasteurized with the emotion taken out. Politics is about hope. Hope for a better world through government and its members or despite government or despite big business, or whatever. In any case, it’s about conveying (or selling) hope for the future. Hope is emotional, and as Jerome Groopman writes, a very important thing to being human. The press has moved to reporting facts about what happened around the event, on what it “means” (to whom?), and a “delta” difference from expectations (whose?). For many events, you really want to know how it feels. Political conventions today are about transmitting a feeling and the press tries to filter that out, leaving something strange and unnatural. You wonder how the traditional press would cover the Grand Canyon. You know what it’s like before you get there, it hasn’t changed much, but, oh my, is it emotional when you look out at it. They’d say “the temperature is running 2 degrees lower than normal this year”: Factual, unbiased, unhelpful in many cases, helpful in others. They serve a purpose here with the convention, of course, though I find C-SPAN with it’s simple gavel-to-gavel coverage just as “unbiased” and helpful as the more sophisticated productions. There’s no way bloggers could cover this all. But something is missing without them. Bloggers are allowed (and encouraged) to give you the feelings, too, so they add an important element.

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