Thursday, April 15, 2010
Thank You Blogosphere!
As a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, my professors often emphasized the power of online social networking. The message didn’t really register until now.
On Tuesday, I sent out an email to friends and family updating them on my experiences in Gaza and expressing frustrations about the difficulties of getting published as a freelancer, particularly when stories are time-sensitive. Twice now, I’ve covered breaking news stories (the journalistic background of the bombed cheese factory owner, the connection between electric blackouts and sewage tsunamis) and not been able to find a publisher before the news got stale. I’ve also needed to connect with a broader network of news agencies, so that I’m not putting all my eggs in a few baskets.
The Ashley fan club received my email, took pity and started promoting my blog on their blogs. An especially generous and helpful endorsement came from Rabbi Brant Rosen. Somehow, word got around to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who plugged me on Twitter and Facebook. On Wednesday morning, I woke up to encouraging emails from random readers and three editors at alternative news sites. I sent a thank you email to Mr. Kristof, who immediately replied, “More power to you!” All day, I couldn’t wipe the goofy grin off my face. I hope that my continued work on this blog will honor Mr. Kristof’s support, and I appreciate the feedback and questions from everyone who’s taken an interest.
One of the emails I received Wednesday morning came from an editor at an Australian news analysis site called New Matilda inviting me to submit articles. Today I attended Rafah’s first ever demonstration against child labor in the Gaza-Egypt smuggling tunnels and wrote an article for New Matilda about the issue. This article will likely publish on Friday or Saturday. Meanwhile, my article about the Hamas fees imposed on the rubble workers has published in Global Post and Huffington Post. So thank you blogosphere, and thank you especially to Mr. Kristof!