I’ve been distracted by other projects lately (no, not watching the major-party infomercials in the U.S.) and by reading hard-to-blog chapters in books (but a good long excerpt will follow), so I’ve neglected to post a link to a blogpost by Joshua Foust on Registan (the first blog to link to mine, back in 2003) about the rise of citizen propagandists. I’ll cite just one paragraph from the full article, which is online at Columbia Journalism Review.
Non-official propaganda matters greatly, because while most bloggers issued shallow and predictable jeremiads about either the horrors of the “new Cold War” or the horrors of American-supported client states, there were some out there who were largely getting things right. Unfortunately, these sober voices were often drowned out by the overwhelming amount of citizen propagandists flooding the blogosphere. Nevertheless, they bear mentioning.
Foust’s article concerns the role of citizen propagandists in the current war between Russia and Georgia, since Registan’s regional focus is the Russian Near Abroad in Central Asia. But Foust’s thesis also applies to political blog spinmeisters, comment-thread propagators, and the lazy professional journalists who rely on their favorite blogs both to determine the newsworthiness and to frame the narratives of the “news” stories they bother to report (or not).