Now that he's been elected to a second term, it is time that President Obama grant his first-ever official interview to a blogger. And, that blogger should be me.
While there has been considerable discussion within our blogging community as to whether a blogger is a journalist, such a distinction should not color the President's decision. In fact, as someone whose mother went to journalism school at Northwestern and who grew up listening to her staunchly differentiate a journalist from a television news anchorperson, among others, I acknowledge that I am not a journalist. I think, however, that even lacking the appropriate "credentials," certain bloggers rise to the level of what one may characterize as a quasi-journalist or information communicator. The popularity of blogging truly speaks for itself and, if nothing else, we can get a message out.
Moreover, I don't want to appear anything but open and transparent here. I want to interview President Obama. I want to interview the President and to be the first identifiable blogger to do so. I think it's time and I think I have the credibility and, more importantly, this ChicagoNow forum certainly has the readership to support such an endeavor.
To that end, I am going to list ten reasons in support of my being the first blogger to interview President Obama. Again, I recognize that I am not a journalist, but I submit that you don't have to be a journalist to conduct a valid and interesting interview. Nor are journalists the only inidividuals who are knowledgable enough or capable enough to engage someone as commanding as the President. Not only that, he and I have some things in common.
Therefore, here are the ten reasons why the blog "It's Never Just Black and White" should conduct the first blogger interview of President Obama (in no particular order of importance):
1. The President is from Chicago and his first blogger interview should be with a Chicago(Now) blogger.
2. He is the first Chicagoan to be elected to a second term as President and he should be accessible to his neighbors and original supporters, including my sister-in-law who happens to live in his neighborhood.
3. He has been innovative in his use and appreciation for social media and granting an interview to a blogger on a blogging network that receives significant readership/traffic would be consistent with those themes.
4. Since my blog tends to focus, at times, on issues regarding race and racism and since the President is a mixed race individual, ChicagoNow's readership would be interested in hearing the President's perspective on growing up as a mixed race child, the issues he encountered, and to have him address the ways in which he overcame adversity to rise to the level that he has. I am particularly interested, as well, since I am the parent of a 9-month old mixed race daughter.
5. I'd like to know how the President maintains what appears to be a stable and happy household in spite of working in possibly the most demanding job in the world. The President's marriage, at least on its face, is enviable and it would be compelling to have him share his thoughts and tips with our readers.
6. We are both Leos.
7. We are both White Sox fans.
8. I'd ask the President to share his vision for America in 2033, twenty years after the oath of office, a time when many children of other ChicagoNow bloggers and readers will be entering the work force and will be trying to establish themselves as adults in society. Decisions made in the next four years could have a major impact on society in 2033.
9. I would ask you the President to discuss his favorite Chicago restaurants - a topic that always generates heated, yet friendly debate.
10. It's not unprecedented. The President of Costa Rica gave an interview to a blogger this year.
So there you have it. If I was President Obama, I'd do it. Now I just have to figure out how to get him to read this blog so he can say yes ...
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