The following is a response to commenter Denise, regarding the credentialing of Bloggers for the PBS debate. Here is the list of Black bloggers invited or "allowed" in by MBA and PBS.
It looks like you had to be an award recipient in order to gain approval from the Media Bloggers Association. I had a pretty bad experience with this group (the "MBA") a couple of years ago. I attempted to join their little organization shortly after I entered the world of blogging, as a way to help me get started... but I was told at the time (in so many words) that I was not elite enough. I basically told them that they could go straight to Hell.
The MBA is an elitist white-run group... which is reflected in how they choose people to "credential". Their aim is to gain favor with the big media (which is what they are doing here). That is a horrible group to have as a filter for these events. It's an especially bad filter for an event involving black bloggers... Black bloggers are excluded & marginalized enough as is.
Who in the hell are they to even know or decide who the good Black bloggers are? That organization knows little about Black bloggers... and I doubt if they even read "Black blogs"... (from the full spectrum of what is offered). Side note: "Black blog" is usually a term that I don't care for because it paints too small of a box. The term tends to suggest that a blog is limited to certain content, mostly centered on race. I never wanted my blog to be pigeonholed or placed in any one category, because I cover all kinds of issues; issues that transcend race, religion, national boundaries, cultures, and so forth....but for the sake of this commentary I am going with the term.
Is the MBA even familiar with the wide cross section of Black bloggers? Reading LaShawn Barber and Booker Rising does not make anyone an informed reader of Black blogs.
This is why I have called for a professional organization that could represent Black Bloggers, and work in their interests. I have a vision for a Black Bloggers Association...that would be supported by existing minority media groups, or at least an Independent or Progressive Bloggers Association that could do the same function and provide the support that we need. It does not necessarily have to be a race defined or race based group. But I don't have the money or the other resources needed to turn that vision into a reality. But if we could ever get that idea off the ground... we'd be able to tell the MBA to go to Hell. Why is a predominantly White group...that has little to do with the event, deciding which Black Bloggers are allowed in????
Unfortunately, due to the divisions among Black bloggers, I am not too confident that a Black Bloggers group (a professional bloggers organization) would be successful. Based on what I have seen in the Black Blogosphere, I have plenty of reason to doubt that it would be a workable proposition. But I will keep this vision in the back of my mind.
In the meantime, I have to take advantage of the tools I have just as an ordinary blogger. This David and Goliath nature of the media is why blogs are so important. Blogs help to level the playing field...at least to some degree. I have the same opportunity to comment on the event as those who are "credentialed" and "allowed" to attend.