Friday, March 11, 2005

That's the new blog started by the Harris County Democratic Party to keep us up-to-date on topics of interest locally. I'll be linking to them often.

Last night at the weekly Drinking Liberally I met the new organizer of that group; congratulations, Adrian. She takes over for Eddie Rodriguez, who's relocating to San Antonio, where I suspect we'll see a new chapter shortly. Eddie's blog needs to be in your bookmarks.

And Bean at Prairie Weather has the skinny on "Blogshine Sunday":

On March 13, 2005, news organizations across America will participate in "Sunshine Sunday" by running stories supporting access to government information. This freedom of information is vital to our democracy. That's why has organized "Blogshine Sunday" on the same day: to ensure that government remains accessible to tomorrow's journalists.

We recognize that technology is changing journalism. On Blogshine Sunday, we affirm:
  • In an increasingly wired society, government documents need to be digital and online, not just buried in archives.
  • "Professional" journalists are not the only people who deserve access to our government -- everyone does.
If these topics mean something to you, please join us on March 13. Write in your blog about how they've affected you.

And here's more:

Have something to say? Want to play a role in Blogshine Sunday? Here’s how.

Pick a topic and your perspective. Do you have a story to tell, or are you just speaking your mind? Remember when you tried to look for property records for that big house on corner to find out how much it’s worth? Or when you found out your Uncle Joe had a CIA file in the ’60s, and wanted to look at it? Or when you wanted to know the phone number for that guy running for the city commission? Or would you rather write from a more philosophical standpoint, about why access to information is important? Maybe there’s something specific you’d like to write about, like the OPEN Government Act?

This will be coupled with your choice of topic: are you writing about the need for digital access to government records, or about the need for equal access for non-traditional journalists?

If you have a blog, then post your column there on Sunday, March 13.

And Gavin posted this there:

Bloggers-as-journalists seems to be gaining acceptance, judging by some recent news:

  • On Monday, the New York Times reported that Garrett M. Graff of fishbowlDC “may be the first blogger in the short history of the medium to be granted a daily White House pass.”
  • On Tuesday, the Online Journalism Review from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California announced it was making available three tutorials for bloggers without journalism experience. The tutorials are wikis which anyone can edit, and are licensed under a Creative Commons license.
  • Sen. John Cornyn’s press secretary told me last week that the OPEN Government Act will likely have its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committe in mid-March. The act, among other provisions, would charge bloggers and other Internet-based journalists lower fees for information requests, a privilege currently based on institutional affiliation.

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