Saturday, September 19, 2015

Blog of the Week, Vol. 1, No. 18

     Due the the fact I have a large number of Civil War blogs on my list, I try to highlight the other blogs that don't cover that period exclusively. This week I want to focus on something a bit different. I am going to highlight a site that is a collection of blogs focusing on the liberal aspect of modern politics. To be fair, I will focus on a conservative site which is very similar in its delivery of information next week. I find that in today's charged political atmosphere it is very useful to read a diverse flow of information which features far more fact finding than the political rhetoric which spills across debates, news reports, and social media. (Note: I do not endorse the political views found in the New Republic nor any other site. I am merely featuring the site and as I said, I will feature a conservative site next week).

     The main reason I focus on this blog this week is due to the historical elements in some of the blogs found here. As many know, Sean Wilentz wrote an entry for the New York Times,  Constitutionally, Slavery is no National Institution  which has ignited a firestorm of criticism. Wilentz has written for the New Republic in the past, but his latest NYT entry has generated negative entries in the New Republic. I find that interesting on its own, but it also highlights the fact that this site does feature a good amount of entries that have serious historical information in them.

     Other than that, the site is a heavy liberal site. The blog entries are from a strong group of writers of diverse fields and offer some interesting viewpoints.  I really shouldn't say liberal as much as I should say progressive as the site does not stint on criticizing Democratic politicians when necessary. As a media group that has existed since 1914, it has obviously been around for a long time and changed over the century of its existence.

     The site I am looking at is only the online side of the New Republic. It has existed in magazine form for a long time, but the changes in magazine publishing over the last few years have wrought immense change in the New Republic for several years. Long time editors resigned in December of 2014 over the changes as new ownership has been working to make changes in the publishing and marketing of the magazine.

     In addition to these changes, New Republic has seen its fair share of controversies as plagiarism and falsification of facts and stories have been major issues for many years. That this is ongoing issue across the board in journalism escapes no one's attention. The magazine's circulation has dropped significantly since 2000, but then so has everyone's which is why many changes are being made. Even the website which has far more viewers than the magazine has had a drop in viewers. No reasons have been offered to explain this either.

      Where the New Republic goes from here, no one knows. I like the information flow from the website, but I feel it sometimes can be one-sided as is always the case with politically charged issues. I do like the focus on some of the issues, but not on all of them. The problem with political aligned journalism is that there is always a bias present in it and the facts are being presented to give the best possible light to one point or another. Of course, that goes all the way back to the first historian, Herodotus, who painted his employers in the best possible light as well. Some things never change, do they?

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