Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Read Jeff

 ...re the LPoC's decision to charge non-MSM affiliated bloggers $1,100 to attend their lame, non-newsworthy convention in January.  Its all well-argued, but here's his take on the only argument in favour of the LPoC decision that I have occasionally considered defensible:

Why are they ending blogger accreditation? I can only speculate. I believe part of it is money, but that’s foolish. First of all, admitting bloggers isn’t an out of pocket expense for the party. We don’t need a filing room or a supply of soft drinks, just let us in the door and maybe give us a table and chairs at the back of the hall. You could argue lost revenue, but let’s be serious. No independent or third-party blogger is going to pay $1100 to come to our little conference, so you were never getting that revenue anyway. Maybe a few Liberals would opt to go the free blogger route instead of being a paying delegate, but with delegate fees at $400 for Victory Fund members you’re talking a few grand in foregone revenue at the most. As is that really worth the bad publicity we’re getting?

Another excuse I’ve heard is that they could be inundated with a flood of bloggers seeking to cover the conference. First of all, so what? I’d think more coverage would be a good thing. Second, I doubt it. Maybe 10 were accredited in 2006, and probably a little less in 2009. I was the only non-Conservative blogger I know of accredited to their convention this year; if there were Conservative non-delegate bloggers they (unsurprisingly) weren’t hanging-out in the press area.

And third, that’s a simple enough issue to deal with. Put a cap on the number of bloggers you can accommodate and set up an application process. The Conservatives, for example, asked me about my posting frequency and traffic statistics. Screening of this sort is normal and expected; it’s part of the job of a media relations staffer. “It’s too hard” is frankly a pretty weak cop-out for not doing what should be a basic part of the job.

I should just note that, unlike their MSM counterparts, bloggers tend to have real, well-paying jobs that aren't about to be stolen by the Internet, and so there shouldn't be a noticeable drain from them on the convention's booze/finger-food resources, due to scarfing out of raw hunger.  I know that I personally have considered hitting up a LPoC convention under the "journalist" banner to get free drinks, but that's because I am cheap the way Libertarians are Libertarians.  It's my philosophy.  Most people aren't like that.

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