A portion of my letter to the editor regarding the uptick in blogger activity re the BOE and sup was published in the Howard County Times. I’m publishing the full letter here. The lopped off part is italicized. Notice, if you will, the institutional fear of directing their readers to another source of information.
I’ve managed HoCoBlogs.com, a Howard County bloggers website, for over eight years now. Frankly, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen as much activity and conversation on a topic as I’ve seen on the current issues surrounding the Board of Education (BOE), the upcoming elections and the current superintendent.
Traditional media publications and journalists provide researched, balanced and vetted information. Blogs, typically, do not; instead, they provide personal perspective on a platform that allows for the individual blogger’s voice and thoughts to be expressed. And they provide a comments section where anyone in the community can participate in the conversation, if they so choose.
With the current frustration and conversation surrounding the BOE, bloggers are taking on civic journalism roles such as interviewing school board candidates on podcasts, developing matrices tracking candidates’ social media activity, reviewing candidates’ history and policies, discussing the issues at hand in length, and, in some cases, providing endorsements. There are also plans for a blogger-run BOE candidates forum to be held before the general election.
If the upcoming BOE election (or other local matters) has your interest, I encourage you to check out the vibrant conversation HoCoBlogs.com.
And please remember to use, and follow, #HoCoBOE on Twitter and in other social media tools.