Blogs and International Relations

Daniel Drezner and Henry Farrell have written a well-reasoned piece in Foreign Affairs about the intersection of grassroots media and international affairs. Summary:

Every day, millions of online diarists, or “bloggers,” share their opinions with a global audience. Drawing upon the content of the international media and the World Wide Web, they weave together an elaborate network with agenda-setting power on issues ranging from human rights in China to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. What began as a hobby is evolving into a new medium that is changing the landscape for journalists and policymakers alike.


Posted by: on November 5, 2004 06:31 PM

This reminds me of Time’s piece with the headline “Hyper-Democracy?” The Internet and now blogging is on its way to destroying Big Media Owners’ monopoly on defining the “normal” scope of political debate — and it’s about damn time!

Posted by: Ian Wilson on November 5, 2004 07:04 PM

This is an interesting point and adds a new dynamic to blogging journalists. As a more or less direct analogy, is Dan Rather more influential because he has a large audience in America or is Dan Gillmor more influential because his audience is global and fully interactive (meaning he hears their views as well as “broadcasting” his own)?

Traditional news media provides the occasional editorial comment within a sea of, essentially, “announcements” whereas blogs offer an number of, essentially, “editorials” and viewpoints with each and every story. We become a more educated reader when we are offered the “why” and “how” in addition to “what, where and when”.

More and more I am seeing traditional news outlets as providing stale, diluted and often unfiltered “sound bites” straight from the spin masters and PR people. Moving forward can someone like Dan Rather (as an analogy) compete in terms of accuracy and insight with a medium whose readers are potentially a vast army of “on the spot” editor reporters distrubed across the globe?

Posted by: James Salsman on November 5, 2004 09:10 PM

I sent this to a bunch of international poison control centers today:

I have a feeling that sending to the email inboxes of poison control centers’ directors will be more effective than just blogging it.

Posted by: JamesJayToran on November 6, 2004 10:13 AM

This is an April Fool’s Joke, right?

Posted by: brucetct on November 6, 2004 09:20 PM

blogging has become a social networking kind of tool i assume but it is smaller scale if compare to friendster, flickr or orkut.

Posted by: Tom Davey on November 7, 2004 01:03 PM


a slight correction to the post. The Drezner/Farrell piece appears in Foreign Policy magazine, not Foreign Affairs.

Tom Davey
Web producer for

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