Wed
Sep 3 2008
11:09 am

By way of Michael Silence, bloggers at the RNC are complaining about access and accommodations.

They say they are isolated, there is no internet access on the floor, and the filing room is a dungeon with no monitors to watch the action. They are also complaining that bigger bloggers are getting preferential treatment. Oh, and the food is bad.

In sharp contrast, the DNC blogger accommodations exceeded expectations. First, they made the unprecedented move of seating a blogger from each state and territory with their delegations on the floor. They provided a power outlet and a hard-wired internet connection at the delegate seating area.

For general pool bloggers, the DNC also provided a reserved seating area in the arena (right under the Al-Jazeera press box -- not sure if there was some kind of message there) with hard-wired internet connections run to every seat. Rotating floor passes also gave general pool bloggers full access to any area inside the arena.

DSC_5222
Blogger seating area inside Pepsi Center arena

In addition to that, there was a blogger lounge setup adjacent to the media filing center in the Nuggets training gym. It was glass enclosed with its own ventilation/AC system, hard wired for power and internet, and had several large monitors for watching the action on the floor. There were also a couple of couches for down time. Bloggers could also use the fully-equipped media filing center (which also had monitors) when the blogger lounge was full.

DSC_5263
Blogger lounge at Pepsi Center

DSC_5264
Media filing center at Pepsi Center, open to bloggers

There were press-only elevators for convenient access to all the arena and press facilities, and bloggers were also free to use the press buses. Blogger press credentials were honored at all open events, press conferences, etc. just like "real" media.

At Invesco Field, all bloggers got a seat in the stadium, with state bloggers seated with their state's delegation. Hard-wired connections and power were not available, but the DNC set up a smaller capacity press box for credentialed bloggers (which filled up fast) and bloggers also had access to the press filing areas. Also, broadband wireless access worked fine from the field.

DSC_5342
Blogger press box on the 50 yard line

As far as special treatment, state bloggers actually had it better than the big time bloggers. State bloggers got full "floor" credentials, meaning they could go anywhere inside or around the Pepsi Center or Invesco Field. Big time bloggers assigned to the general pool had to share rotating floor passes or use the assigned blogger seating inside the arena. (I ran into Kos at the Pepsi Center blogger lounge picking up one of the floor passes for a turn on the floor.)

The DNC had more than 120 credentialed bloggers covering the convention. Bloggers were just as welcome and had the same access as any other media, and in some respects got preferential treatment. It doesn't sound like the old school GOP has the same regard for new media.

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Brian A.'s picture

Convention coverage

I caught just a brief part of a CSPAN interview with a GOP convention organizing guy (didn't catch his name, but he's from Maryville) who remarked that "big media" news operations have been scaling their coverage back--not just in terms of airtime, but also in staff. He said initially, the planners expected they would need more media space for the GOP convention, but as it turns out there's now quite a bit of unused space.

Did you notice similar overcapacity at the Democratic convention? It seems to be another size that convention downsizing is on the horizon.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

R. Neal's picture

Did you notice similar

Did you notice similar overcapacity at the Democratic convention?

Not at all. All press facilities were overutilized as far as I could tell. Stuff was crammed in every available nook and cranny and it was all overflowing from what I could see. And you couldn't walk through the concourse for all the interviews going on.

Brian A.'s picture

Interesting. I assume the

Interesting. I assume the GOP would require a similar level of media square footage. Maybe they just high-balled their anticipated need.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

Fod's picture

Trackback

I have linked to this post from my post Conventions, Podcasts, and Bloggers
at
(link...)

redmondkr's picture

Funny, I have Barack Obama

Funny, I have Barack Obama podcasts on file going back to 3/16/06.*

*"21st Century Schools for a 21st Century Economy"

Oh Wait! Here's another one from 1/26/06, titled Today's Meeting on Iraq with President Bush. He begins by saying how great it is to be back from the Middle East, a place McCain once said Obama had never been.


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redmondkr's picture

A big screen grab awaits

A big screen grab awaits behind this link.


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