Thursday, August 2, 2007

Michigan's Political Blogosphere--a Very, Very Brief Visitors' Guide

Bloggers have arrived. They are gaining credibility and attracting ire. Clearly, they are changing the journalistic, political and electoral landscape.

Editor and Publisher reports that "bloggers making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the CIA will likely get them processed for free under new rules that broaden the definition of who is part of the 'news media.'"

All democratic presidential candidates will make appearances at the Yearly Kos Conference, for liberal and antiwar bloggers, in Chicago this weekend.

Monday, conservative talker, Bill O'Reilly blasted the Daily Kos as a hate site on par with the Klan in an effort to discourage dems from attending the Chicago conference.

Michigan has a diverse and thriving political blogosphere. Consider this an introductory visitors' guide to the virtual landscape.

Liberal Community Sites
Michigan Liberal, the foremost liberal social blog with a relatively open culture. While open to anyone who espouses liberal/progressive values, many participants are democrats.

Blogging for Michigan, a relatively new site, is a "managed progressive community" providing news and commentary, while aiming for high standards of citizen journalism. This isn't a progressive soap box. Moderators expect writers to do some leg work in crafting posts.

Michigan GOP (That's Saul, folks!)
While the name is whimsical and inviting, reader comments are not allowed. Saul Anuzis, state party chair, drafts the daily posts. Other bloggers listed as contributors include Michigan Republican Party staff--Jeff Timmer, Sarah Anderson, and Rob Macomber. Based on statistics from BlogNetNews/Michigan, some of the daily posts get a lot of external links.

Republican Michigander, based in Livingston County, is the work of two writers. Although identifying as republican, comments are welcomed without restriction and some interesting dialog can result. Republican Michigander's tone tends toward pragmatism and reasonableness with a clear point of view.

Media Critique
While media critique is central to blog culture, some blogs devote themselves to exposing skewed or inaccurate reporting, or underreported issues in the public interest.
Media Mouse, based in Grand Rapids, "is an independent media group that formed in 1999 in response to the corporate media's unwillingness to cover movements for social change and a recognition of the need for more independent perspectives in Grand Rapids."

Comprehensive Directory
Absolute Michigan's Michigan Blog has an extensive list of all sorts of blogs based in Michigan. You could spend hours exploring.

Issue Oriented
These run the gamut and tend to be hosted by individuals and nonprofit organizations with an interest in specific policy and political outcomes. Here is a small sample.
Right to Life of Michigan's Blog
Republic of M, Gay Michigan
Great Lakes Guy
Michigan Nonprofit Association's Blog
Michigan Library Consortium Blog

As you travel, be sure to explore the blogrolls in the sidebars. You'll be amazed what's out there. You might even want to start your own blog. Enjoy your journey!