Monday, August 20, 2007

Washington Post Boon For DC Blogs

On Tuesday, January 9, 2007, The Washington Post hosted a catered symposium entitled Blogging Unplugged. Nearly 100 DC area bloggers who are currently writing about sports, entertainment, politics, and other local happenings attended.The symposium included three sessions:(1) Discussion by executive writers of The Post and The on establishing collaborative exchange processes between bloggers and the paper;(2) Mini-lecture on Legal Issues in Blogging, led by Attorney Jonathan Hart from Dow Lohnes, a Washington, DC law firm. (Hart's clients include The Online News Association (; and(3) Open idea exchange on The Post’s plans for increased visibility for local bloggers.Event highlights included a demonstration of WAPO’s online prototype. With development, it will establish a DC Blog roll - a set of directories pointing print and online readers to area blogs. The lecture on defamation and libel issues illustrated various protections afforded by the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Warnings and legal advice were provided on the risks bloggers (and Web editors – and for that matter, all writers) must consider in expressing fact versus opinion. For expert counsel on these topics, please see Internet Law: A Field Guide, available at most interest to DC art-focused web writers is The Post’s desire to highlight, demonstrate, and educate the public on the variety of information available in online portals – particularly in those areas The Post traditionally affords less than adequate coverage (e.g., Southeast development, Nationals fans, and…ART!!). Future possibilities include allowing the public to vote on favorite sites or blogs, showcasing guest editors, attaching local advertising to sites, and building searchable databases by keywords and/or locations. Imagine a future where the Bethesda, U-Street, and Del Ray arts communities are inter- and intra-related online through a central news organization! Watch The Post or this site for further developments.These and other creative ideas were supported by symposium panel experts: Jonathan Krim (Communications Strategist); Caroline Little (CEO of The at; Editors and Columnists Jim Brady, Marc Fisher, Phil Bennett, Bob McCartney, and Bob Griner; and Jacqueline Dupre of the Near Southeast Revitalization Blog ( Some members of the blogger community continued the successful event at the Post Pub after hours.