More than just another media outlet, blogs are a revival of community in the most classic American sense. To be sure, it is a new frontier.
Regardless of what your politics are, Barbara Wold deserves a lot of credit as a pioneer of new media in New Mexico and a huge amount of regard from the community of bloggers. She also needs help.
She and her partner, Mary Ellen Broderick, are struggling with the expense and trauma of cancer. Now is the time to lay aside whatever difference might exist and offer some kind of support and to say thank you. Barb has metastatic liver cancer and her partner, an architect, has been out of work for some months. Cancer. A word that one would rather soften. One wishes something like "health issues" would be direct enough. Unfortunately, with words, the problem is to specify. But, if you have ever been around any medical oncology, you know how it feels. The word itself is like a kick in the gut, and that is just it being a word without the reality of it.
An appreciation and fundraiser in Barb's honor is being held:
Wed. Nov. 2, 6-8pm
AFSCME New Mexico headquarters
1202 Pennsylvania NE
For more information, call Sisy Garcia at 505/ 730-9923.
Barb started up the www.democracyfornewmexico.com site in 2003. She has been working at it pretty much full time each day since. She is dedicated to upholding high standards as someone with a professional editing background, so if you offer a guest blog she will tell you to shorten it or perhaps rework it until it works. She also might suggest re thinking. I always appreciate a good editor, especially when I really do go off the deep end and need someone honest enough to point this out. I have worked with a few editors in my time and Barb is one of the best.
As a result of this dedication to professionalism, her work has proven that blogs can really have an impact across the distances between points on the map and can create a real connection between people with shared aspirations. Creating this sense of community through the use of the internet is her contribution to the future of New Mexico. It should be noted and it should be appreciated.
Barb and Mary Ellen convened the Democracy for New Mexico group, organizing and facilitating monthly meetings. Accomplishing all this is no trivial amount of effort, involving education and a full range of skillsets - and yet there is no pay in it.
As it happens, I have been an observer of media since my college days, back in the seventies and since as I have practiced journalism in various forms. I have also done a bunch of writing and literature design, as well as press outreach for a variety of political campaigns and causes.
After about 40 years of this kind of experience, I have come to feel very strongly that We The People should be vitally concerned that all our public dialogue has become stereotyped and oversimplified to the point of making the concept of an "Enlightened Publick" quaint and all but lost.
Blogs arose out of a deepseated need, somehow, to find an interactive compromise between what we know from experience in writing and editing and something new that hasn't entirely taken shape yet. Something that can restore a sense of real citizenship to us.
Barbara Wold is a pioneer in this new media frontier and if you have any thoughts at all about the future of the Fourth Estate and its value to America's future or to New Mexico's, you ought to contribute something out of respect for the larger goals we all share as Americans.
In a just world, the work of civic activism would get press coverage and bronze statues. It would at least pay. But we do not live in a just world - yet. More than we usually appreciate, we need people like Barbara Wold who will work for a better, more just world despite all the odds against them.
Please come to the Barbara Wold appreciation event
AFSCME New Mexico headquarters
Nov. 2, 6-8pm
1202 Pennsylvania NE
call Sisy at 505/ 730-9923 for more info or if you would like to help promote the event or somehow be involved.
You could also go directly to Democracy for New Mexico and find the contribution button.
Thank you, Stuart, for sharing this post. Barb is one of Albuquerque's pioneering bloggers and a constant voice in what's often a high-burnout medium. Thanks to Barb, our political discourse is more rich in both depth and breadth and personally I'm grateful for her commitment to the work.
I want to encourage everyone to attend the fundraiser or donate (click DONATE at the top left) what they can to help Barb. Even $10, $20, or $50 would be a useful gesture of appreciation for one of the foundations of our local blogging scene.
"Objectivity" is an interesting word. It is an ideal for journalistic professionalism. But it also is something to contemplate as we look to the landscape of social spheres and communities of interest.
If the purpose is to reach out to others who are progressives who want to try and establish some kind of communication about what is going on and what might be important, there are really serious obstacles. The media do not afford a medium of communication for political organizing. The distances involved between people is a huge barrier. The cost of transportation or any other means of achieving connection are huge and insurmountable across a state, and even between neighbors in a city.
What is innovative is the use of the internet as a means of seeking out and maintaining some sense of connection in creating community despite the barriers.
To be sure, everyone is not likely to join in celebration of an achievement by one community of interest when it competes with one's own, but the general model, the effort to move ahead in this way ultimately benefits all communities of interest.
Barbara has succeeded in blazing a trail in a way that opens up new territories of the mind for others to develop whether they are progressives or conservatives or somewhere else on the spectrum. As Americans we should look at the overall effort at citizenship as something that enlarges us all. That should be basic civics.
By definition, a blog is a web log, or an on-line diary, providing commentary and opinion. No one says it has to be objective journalism, or interactive, Barb's blog oftentimes is quite objective and has provided a voice for Democrats from the far left (me) to very moderate Democrats, and occasionally a rightie sneaks in and says something. So great! If you want to read objective journalism then read the Journal- ha ha. Or listen to Fox News- there's objectivity!
We all have choices in what we choose to read. I enjoy many blogs, including Barbara's. She also provides a very complete calendar of what is going on in town, and easy links to many many sites, all of which I find helpful and convenient. And she has some beautiful photography.
Having just been through a sad time myself, losing my husband 6 weeks ago, I know a little bit about fear, sadness, and community support. I hope the community turns out to support Barbara and Mary Ellen at this very tough time in their lives, just as they have supported me recently. Thanks to all my friends and I hope to see you Nov 2.
Cheryl, thank you for responding to Lebowski. You did so with much kinder and gentler words than I could have mustered. We all deal with loss, every one of us, It is how we treat one another in life that really matters, and the support you receive is a reflection of the kindness with which you treat others. All you need is love.
That said, all I saw with Lebowski's post was, "That's too bad. I am a good person and donate to cancer charities. I hate liberals."
Lebowski, put some love in your heart before it is too late.
Don't feed the troll! You are not a billy goat obligated to cross this bridge before helping Barbara out.