The Next Right Looks For ‘Battleground’ Bloggers

Jan 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Citizen Media, New Media Organizations

Republican blogger and strategist Patrick Ruffini is looking for “a few good bloggers” to help cover local political races and grassroots initiatives from a conservative perspective.

Project Battleground” is Ruffini’s initiative to gather activist bloggers and conservative websites at the state and local level in “every battleground state and every competitive Congressional district” throughout the United States.

Following the GOP’s big losses in the 2008 general elections, Ruffini sees the political cup as half-full, and the time just right — for the party, and for displaced Republican operatives — for launching a bevy of local political blogs.

His reasoning (greatly simplified by me):

“The states are where the mainstream media is breaking down big time…. Media coverage in these areas won’t just go away; it will move to the Web and the blogosphere. Many of the reporters and journalistic resources at cash-strapped newspapers will likely land at left-wing ‘alternative’ news websites.”
“We need conservative websites and blogs in every state that are dedicated to winning those states. They should be run by sophisticated activists or consultants who know how politics works…, or young up-and-comers who are interested in … prov[ing] themselves.”
“Republican operatives now find themselves with decidedly fewer opportunities for career advancement as a result of the last election…. There is no better way to get your name out there than to become a public voice in the political debate in your state, and to do it using new media.”

The Next Right, the blog Ruffini co-founded, is a “place for wired activists to build a new Republican Party and conservative movement.” The site calls itself a grassroots action website for the right with political analysis, local news coverage, and strategic discussion and debate.

From our point of view, this Project Battleground is a welcome development in the world of politics and new media (even if – perhaps especially if – it doesn’t align with our personal political ideology). In a democracy, the party in power needs a strong opposition party in order to keep them (us) “on their toes.”

The Next Right, and the local blogs they hope to spur to action, have a long, hard way to go, though, to catch up with more liberal political blogs and blog networks. The liberal and progressive blogs and blog networks Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Center For Independent Media all have several years’ head start on this new conservative blogging initiative. Ruffini has an impressive new media resume, though, and may just be the guy to coordinate the efforts of local GOP bloggers.

We’ll keep an eye on this project and let you know.

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One Response to “The Next Right Looks For ‘Battleground’ Bloggers”

  1. Bill Grady says:

    One of the protections of blogging on national issues is being able to do so freely because you’re not talking about someone who you’ll run into at the grocery store. In smaller markets it’s different. The challenge will be to find competent writers that will be willing to stir the pot without the fear of local retribution. Unlike the national forum, backlash from voicing unpopular positions in small towns can come face-to-face.

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