New media army descends on convention

DENVER, August 27, 2008 (AFP) – A new media army has descended on the Democratic convention in Colorado this week, boldly claiming to offer a fresh perspective on US politics distinct from the mainstream media.

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For the first time ever at a major convention, bloggers say they are being treated with respect normally reserved for print and electronic journalists, a reflection of the Internet’s growing influence on the campaign trail.

Democratic convention organizers issued around 120 credentials specifically for bloggers at this year’s convention — roughly three times as many as they did at their last extravaganza in Boston four years ago.

Dedicated work areas for bloggers have been set up inside the Pepsi Center, while those reporting from the sidelines are gathering at “The Big Tent”, a two-story structure catering to around 500 independent bloggers.

Jen Bruenjes, a contributing editor at the liberal blog Daily Kos, which is one of three sponsors of the facility said for 100 dollars bloggers got a workspace, free wi-fi, and perhaps most attractively, free beer.

“We