December 21, 2009

An Open Letter on the Blogging Blackout

MilBlogging Blackout - Why?

On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many if not most, fellow milblogs -- including This Ain't Hell, From My Position, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim's Hall, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program -- went silent for the day, some including my own blog, The Thunder Run, went silent until Monday, December 21, 2009.

Some of you may wonder why would a blog go silent and what if any effect would it have on the blogging community? The answer I do not think is an easy one to come up with, however, I hope that by having gone silent we may have drawn attention to the fact that news out of Iraq and Afghansitan is still a highly filtered affair, coupled with the fact that fewer milblogs are being published now as compared to just a year ago and this only highlights the fact that the reporting of on-the-ground events are being quieted. Whether this is being accomplished in part by a general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hostility to it, many commands are not only failing to support on-the-ground blogging activities, but are acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others.

Since their inception: Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to the public. They have provided vital context and analysis on issues critical to operations and to the informed electorate critical to the Republic.
The Thunder Run, my own blog, hosts a daily round-up of on-the-ground milblogers, as well as news out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Other blogs such as Blackfive, host such serials as "Someone You Should Know, and provide a much needed military perspective and analysis on the days events in both theatres, while numerous other veteran and active duty blogs such as, Castle Argghhh!, Bouhammer, Afghanistan My Last Tour, A Soldier's Perspective, In Iraq Now (at 56), Free Range International, to name a but few - provide personal insight into the war.

Silencing these blogs may have had little effect on your daily reading habits, but if you are only receiving your information and news about Iraq and Afghanistan via the traditional media outlets then you in all honesty are only receiving one-third of the story.

You owe it to yourself and the men and women on the ground to do better than that.

Thank you

David M
Editor: The Thunder Run

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