Gulf Coast blogger-con?
Blogging is a key component of the media coverage of the historic 2005 hurricane season.
The contributions are varied as the contributors: Citizen journalists are blogging storms from their own homes and shelters. A self-styled blogger/activist press corps has emerged. Mainstream news organizations are assigning reporters to blog. At least one paper, the New Orleans Times Picayune, reinvented itself as a blog during Katrina. Blogs all over the world are fundraising for disaster relief. Political bloggers are helping to shape the public discourse on the hurricanes and the reconstruction. And so on.
Hurricane season isn't over until November, and the reconstruction will take years. But I don't think it's too early to start thinking about ways to share what we've learned so far.
It would be great if we could organize some sort of Gulf Coast blogger convention in early 2006. There's so much to talk about. Here's a short list of topics that might be interesting fodder for discussion:
- The relationship between journalism and activism
- New partnerships between bloggers and the media, e.g. the Houston Chronicle's Stormwatcher's blog
- Online fundraising for disaster relief
- Technical tips for blogging in a disaster area: equipment, safety, logistics
- Access. What it is and how to get it. This discussion should focus not only on the institutional access enjoyed by the press, but also the unique access enjoyed by citizen journalists to members of their own community
- Blogging the reconstruction. How bloggers can help keep attention focused on the needs of the Gulf Coast in the years to come