We must integrate the blogoshere
Yes, I have a blog as well, it's called Brazilian Horsearama. So does he, it's called life of a Brazilian monk
Blogging Beyond the Men's Club
Since anyone can write a Weblog, why is the blogosphere dominated by white males?
By Steven Levy
March 21 issue - At a recent Harvard conference on bloggers and the media, the most pungent statement came from cyberspace. Rebecca MacKinnon, writing about the conference as it happened, got a response on the "comments" space of her blog from someone concerned that if the voices of bloggers overwhelm those of traditional media, "we will throw out some of the best ... journalism of the 21st century." The comment was from Keith Jenkins, an African-American blogger who is also an editor at The Washington Post Magazine [a sister publication of NEWSWEEK]. "It has taken 'mainstream media' a very long time to get to [the] point of inclusion," Jenkins wrote. "My fear is that the overwhelmingly white and male American blogosphere ... will return us to a day where the dialogue about issues was a predominantly white-only one."
After the comment was posted, a couple of the women at the conference—bloggers MacKinnon and Halley Suitt—looked around and saw that there weren't many other women in attendance. Nor were the faces yapping about the failings of Big Media representative of the human quiltwork one would see in the streets of Cambridge or New York City, let alone overseas. They were, however, representative of the top 100 blogs according to the Web site Technorati—a list dominated by bigmouths of the white-male variety
So why, when millions of blogs are written by all sorts of people, does the top rung look so homogeneous? It appears that some clubbiness is involved. Suitt puts it more bluntly: "It's white people linking to other white people!" (A link from a popular blog is this medium's equivalent to a Super Bowl ad.) Suitt attributes her own high status in the blogging world to her conscious decision to "promote myself among those on the A list."
"Don't you think," she says, "that out of 8 million blogs, there could be 50 new voices worth hearing?" Definitely. Now let's see if the blogosphere can self-organize itself to find them.
So how many non-white staffers do the magazines of opinions have?
If you walked around the New Republic with a dead cat, how long could you swing it before you hit a person who was dusky of tone?
My bet is that your arm would fall off first.
Yet, their elitist hiring practices have never been seriously questioned. If you got the staffs of the Weekly Standard, NRO, Atlantic, Nation, New Republic and Harpers, how many non-whites who lack an Ivy pedegree would be seen there?
The media elite in the US has been dedicated to hiring their children and their childrens friends for decades. No one notices or cares about this lack of diversity.
Yet, there's a problem with the diversity of bloggers?
I like Steven Levy, but he's taking the circle jerk at Harvard way too seriously. I've never heard of Hailey Suitt. Wouldn't know her if she fell off a truck with a large screen TV on it. What A list? I've never seen this woman quoted once. Never. Not anywhere I read. I've never seen her linked to anyone I read. Quoted on the Daou report? Never. Mentioned in the sex blogs? Never. So exactly who's friend was she?
So exactly when did Kos become white? I mean, if you're going to have this discussion, you might want to mention our biracial friend with the wildly successful web site. But that's just me.
See, the problem was that the Harvard Circle Jerk was for the friends of the people who held it. Working bloggers`were NOT invited and we ridiculded the whole fucking thing. Is it my fault they don't read Rude Pundit and Black Commentator? They stick to their little cult of friends and Dave Weiner, who should get a trademark on the word asshole, it's used so often in connection with his name.
They see a white world because they have a very narrow view of the blogosphere. They quote people who may have influence within the old world of technology, but who are not part of what is being done now.
Look, bloggers are as white as any newsroom in America. You walk into a room of them, and they are as white as any newsroom in America. Why? Because journalism draws young white men over other groups. So does technology.
And I don't think, at least with the Harvard folks, it's just "white people linking with white people" but friends linking with friends, who happen to be white, just like they are in every other aspect of their lives.
Here's a question I have for them: do they really want to hear what non-white people think? My bet is that as long as it endorsed their ideas, they would be happy, but the minute it didn't, they would feel quite uncomfortable. White America has a very hard time hearing what non-white America thinks. Why should blogs be the exception? When Harpers and the Nation hire some interns from City College and groom them to be staff writers, then we can talk about blogs.
posted by Steve @ 9:01:00 AM