Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Blogs Matter To Democracy

To be honest, before I started Woodshavings I thought blogs were imprudent, vain, and stupid. They were a platform for the puffy, portly, and pretentious soul, chained to his computer and who had no use for Saturday night. Obviously, my opinion has changed but I'm not above an imprudent comment here and there, and I enjoy knowing that some of you check in regularly to read my posts, although I'm sure my IQ has been a matter of speculation for others. So, basically, blogs can be -- and I grant most of the time are -- imprudent, vain, and stupid. Yet, the blog platform's low-cost and easy accessibility provides a potential to be transformative when harnessed by the right people to expose the wrong people in the interest of democracy and public accountability.

NYTs op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof brings us one of those muckrakers today, a Mr. Li Xinde, a self-appointed journalist that travels around China using his blog to make the unaccountable accountable to the public in the interest of transparent government -- a hallmark of democracy. Read all about him here and the power of blogs to battle for free expression and an accountable government in China.