By some miracle, I’ve been accredited as a blogger for the Democratic National Convention. Given that the convention starts on July 26 (in 14 days), I think that qualifies as “late notice.”
Now the question is whether or not I can make the practical arrangements to attend. I would expect, to put it mildy, that hotel rooms are in short supply.
The phone call was fun: “Hello, is this Peter? This is the DNC.”
I thought bloggers were just ordinary people who set up independent web pages and were completely unofficial… I’m not sure what it means to be a blogger for the Democratic Convention. Also, I thought they’d had their convention. Isn’t the convention where you decide who is going to be your leader? Don’t they already know that? I’m assuming it takes less than three rounds of conversation in English to realise that I’m an imbecile. However, there may be other imbeciles like me out there! So I am offering these questions as a public service. Please, enlighten us.
1. Your characterization of bloggers is accurate. The “official” part is the credentials, which are required to access the convention site. The DNC has traditionally offered credentials to members of the print, TV and radio media; offering credentials to members of the ‘blog community is something new.
2. The Democratic Party has a “presumptive nominee” in John Kerry, but he is not the official candidate yet. The caucus and primary process (which started in Iowa in January) is about electing delegates, committed to a candidate; the delegates then go forward to the convention to elect a candidate. Kerry has enough delegates “locked up” to, in effect, be the nominee in all but name right now, but the official candidacy doesn’t start until the vote at the convention.
Apparently I may have been incorrectly offered credentials as a “news service” — not sure what that means, or if it portends problems.
It looks like you’ll have 29 companions… the GOP is only taking 20, so says this article on NewsMax.com.
I just got off the phone with the DNCC press office, and I’ve confirmed that I have been credentialled, but I’ve been told to wait for a call back today or tomorrow to tell me “what sort of things bloggers will be allowed to do.”
I’ve also received an email from an editor at the National Post asking for permission to print selected of my blog posts from the convention.
Convention blogging is the subject of one of today’s NYT editorials. If you truly want to follow in Mencken’s footsteps, detailed coverage of hospitality rooms will be required.
I hope they serve good food. If you meet Hendrik Hertzberg, tell him I’m a big fan, will you?
I got final confirmation today: I have received credentials. But, oddly enough, I am accredited as a “news service” and not as a blogger. The press office explained that this means I won’t have access to the special “blogger-only” resources — including a special room in the Fleet Center with WiFi — but that I would otherwise have access to both the perimeter and the hall. The fact that I actually am a blogger, not a news service, doesn’t seem to be a problem. Perhaps this isn’t actually a blog (something I have suspected all along). Stay tuned.
I got my offical letter on Monday the 12th as well, even though I’d heard by phone that I’d be going on Friday. This was after getting an official letter in the mail saying “thanks but no thanks” I think you should come to the Blogger Breakfast next Monday anyhow.