Independent bloggers in the US were given press accreditation for the first time to cover the Democratic National Convention in Boston last week, but UK bloggers look set for a much lower profile during the UK's political conference season.

Organisers of the UK's Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat conferences all said they would consider applications from bloggers, but have had no enquiries.

Weblogs, or blogs, are diary-style sites usually covering specialist topics. Bloggers can write anonymously, and often write in a highly personal and opinionated way. Though very different in style from factual news reporting, many blogs have a dedicated and engaged readership and online news publications have been keen to experiment with the format.

The conference office for the UK's Liberal Democrat party told dotJournalism that press accreditation for bloggers has not been on the agenda, but the party does welcome applications.

"It's probably a bit early in this country, but blogging does offer a great deal of promise," said a spokesperson.

"Anyone wishing to apply would have to convince the press office that their application was worthwhile."

Around thirty-seven independent bloggers were given formal press passes for the US Democrat's convention, and a further 30 journalists blogged for news organisations., BusinessWeek Online and MSNBC were just some of the major news organisations producing blogs to cover the event, and some introduced blogs for the first time, such as the Associated Press and

Organisers of the Republican Convention, which runs from 30 August to 2 September in New York City, have indicated that between 10 and 20 bloggers will be given press accreditation.

Technology columnist and industry guru Dan Gillmor, writing in his own blog on the Mercury News, commented that the experiment with blogging must be chalked up as a success.

"The accreditation of bloggers to the convention was an affirmation by a highly centralised hierarchy - the Democratic Party - of an evolving kind of information flow," he said.

"That the even more centralised Republican Party has felt obliged to include bloggers is evidence of the shift."

More news from dotJournalism:
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See also:
Democrat National Convention:
Republic National Convention:
Dan Gillmor:’s list of bloggers:
The Labour Party:
The Conservative Party:
The Liberal Democrats:

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