Black Hills State University will host a panel presentation about blogging entitled “Wag the Blog,” featuring media experts from the region Thursday, Feb. 26 at 3:30 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 305.

The panel discussion will feature regional media blogging experts including Kevin Woster, Bill Fleming, and Bill Harlan. Woster is a reporter for the Rapid City Journal who also monitors and posts blogs to Mount Blogmore, a blog on the Rapid City Journal online site. Harlan was one of the initiators of the Mount Blogmore site and is now information officer for Sanford Laboratory in Lead. Fleming is a writer, designer, and advertising agency owner from Rapid City. He is also an active blog participant on Mount Blogmore and other sites.

The panel discussion is the finale for Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser’s year-long ground-breaking research on political blogs. The research was conducted at the following regional news sites during 2008: Rapid City Journal, Mount Blogmore; Billings Gazette, On the Margins; Denver Post, Washington & the West; and Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Big Question. The research explores the contribution of citizen media blogging to democratic participation and a political public sphere during the most recent presidential election year. The study is focusing on whether participation in blogging engages citizens in the democratic process and/or contributes to their civic learning.

Caton-Rosser, assistant professor of mass communication at BHSU, led the research. She was assisted by Dee Sleep, graduate student research assistant; Caylen Groen-Jones, Rapid City, and Heather Smith, Belle Fourche, who both recently graduated from BHSU, and LiTing Sun, a sophomore mass communication student from Rapid City who serves as a copy editor for the BHSU student newspaper; Odessa Backen, a sophomore art major from Spearfish; and Alicia McNeary, a freshman English major from Spearfish.

This project was supported by a grant from Black Hills State University and the Chiesman Endowment for Democracy.

Posted in: Campus Currents