Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Diversity at the Yearly Kos (Netroots) Convention

Guest blogger Shireen Mitchell looks long and hard at the demographics of the blogosphere.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--With the close of the 2007 Yearly Kos convention, a gathering of bloggers and Internet activists that took place last weekend in Chicago, a vigorous debate was sparked over the convention’s demographics, which, as reported in yesterday’s Washington Post, reveal a largely white, male population. Among the 1500 registered progressive participants in the conference, an estimated one percent was Latin American, about three percent was African American and Native Americans comprised about 0.2 percent.

In a more perfect world, the blogosphere would represent the diversity of the overall population in order to bring a variety of issues and voices to the attention of our country’s lawmakers. Unfortunately, due to various issues that include, but are not limited to, socio-economic class, education, culture, gender, sexual orientation and other issues that hang up communications in most societies, getting equal platforms to engage these other communities takes more work than many are willing to endure. As a result, you get a blogosphere that reflects the demographics -- predominantly white and male –- that characterize the political conversation in other media.


Shireen Mitchell is the executive director of Digital Sisters, Inc.

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