Bloggers Going To Libby Trial

    January 12, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The Media Bloggers Association will have two seats available to its members once the Scooter Libby trial begins in Washington after the Martin Luther King holiday.

The decision by officials to set aside a pair of seats for blogging journalists out of the mere 100 available to the media in general won’t put smiles on the faces of any print media reporters, who have seen their numbers slashed in recent years amid falling revenues and budget tightening throughout the country.

It has taken a couple of years of negotiating to get to this point, according to an interview with Media Bloggers Association founder Robert Cox that appeared on the Washington Post website.

Whoever gets chosen for the plum first-time blogging seats in federal court will have considerable scrutiny. There is very little love for bloggers in the hearts of the mainstream media, the Wall Street Journal being one noteworthy example.

Any mistakes by the Media Bloggers Association’s choice of representatives will probably receive a merciless beating in newspapers, especially since those two seats at the Libby trial would have been filled by mainstream reporters in previous years.

The old days have been relegated to past, and the rotation of a couple of bloggers who know their craft well can demonstrate why they have earned that place. One court representative cited in the Post said as much:

“Bloggers can bring a depth of reporting that some traditional media organizations aren’t able to achieve because of space and time limitations,” said Sheldon Snook, administrative assistant to Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan. Snook added that some bloggers also bring expertise that is welcome in court.

The blogging seats won’t be filled by just two people. Cox said in the report “a diverse group of bloggers” with varying political allegiances would be assembled for the case. They will rotate coverage of the trial, with Cox also giving himself some time in Federal court as well.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.