We live in the age of the blog. Public intellectuals and journalists must adapt to short news cycles, short attention spans, new economic models and a flood of competing commentary and information. The rise of blogs may be dangerous insofar as blogs attract like-minded people who only hear one side, but they are extremely powerful as well, insofar as they allow for people to become highly educated about the world by following a few top bloggers.
Blogging democratizes debate even as it erodes the significance of institutional authority. By removing cultural gatekeepers, blogging is changing the tenor of public discourse for the good and the bad. What is undeniable is that a new kind of public intellectual is emerging.
The series on Blogging and the New Public Intellectual, curated by Roger Berkowitz and Walter Russell Mead, will engage an ongoing discussion with the nation’s leading bloggers in politics, history, art, and culture. We will be asking about their experience as bloggers, what they hope to accomplish, and how they work. We’ll discuss the pressures to put content up quickly, to be controversial, and to balance personal opinion with journalistic standards.
Above all, we will analyze the emergence of a new form of political and cultural writing by engaging with the best practitioners of this new and powerful medium.
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