Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

'Brown bloggers' group gets a White House meet and greet

Blogging While Brown participants at the White House June 18, 2010. (G. McCauley)

Updated 6/23/10
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Last week, President Obama drew notice for lunching with a group of A-list pundits at the White House.

But below the radar, his staff also has been reaching out to an array of less visible opinion-makers, including, for the first time, the long tail of the black blogosphere.

More than 60 small-site bloggers met Friday with Jesse Lee, director of the White House's Online Programs, and Corey Ealons, White House director of African American Media, while in the District for Blogging While Brown. The annual gathering of bloggers of color has become the largest get-together for black political bloggers in the nation.

"The media space is changing, and the bloggers in particular have unique audiences that they communicate with on a regular basis," said Ealons. The White House meeting was about "letting them know we are open and available for conversation -- a two-way conversation."

The meeting, brokered by Cheryl Contee of the blog Jack & Jill Politics and several months in the making, gave the White House a new audience for its health-care message -- an audience that Democrats believe will be critical in the fall elections. It also offered the bloggers a chance to connect with the administration and find ways to gain more White House access.

"Probably most of the questions from the bloggers had to do with access and what we had to do to get the same access as our white counterparts," said Gina McCauley, 34, an Austin-based attorney who founded the Blogging While Brown conference and blogs at whataboutourdaughters and michelleobamawatch.

"There' a difference," she said. "For example, apparently there are conference calls with bloggers -- and I don't know that there are any African American bloggers on those calls."

She also hoped that online live chatting events with Cabinet members could be arranged with some of the bloggers at the conference.

The bloggers of color represent what is known in Internet parlance as the long tail -- each has a smaller blog, but collectively they have a substantial audience. The trick for them is to figure out how to gain credibility and prominence as bloggers despite lacking the audience of some of the major political blogs, McCauley said.

Ealons, the African American Media director, declined to comment on who participated in the White House blogger conference calls, but Contee said she has been a participant in the past. Also joining recent calls have been: John Amato of Crooks and Liars, Jonathan Singer of MyDD, Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, Joe Sudbay of Americablog and John Morgan of the Pennsylvania Progressive.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  June 22, 2010; 5:23 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jack Abramoff's new gig is pizza man
Next: Obama weighing politics and military reality on McChrystal


what would be interesting to find out is if the bloggers were all liberals or did they invite conservative bloggers as well; or were only liberals invited you know those that will push his agenda down our throats.

Posted by: mmartin3 | June 24, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

A White House meet and greet... Sure, but is that enough? I think we should have gotten just a little better welcome than we did. Are we just so happy to be at the table that we will accept anything they give? I'm just asking...

Posted by: ThatTeowonna | June 23, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Kevin Jackson from the Black Sphere was included?? That would be most interesting.

Posted by: UglyMutt | June 23, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for writing about our Blogging While Brown Conference experience at the White House. It was an amazing experience.

Posted by: anandaleeke | June 23, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company