Update! The progam video is now available.

Dole Institute to host panel discussion on military blogs

LAWRENCE — As a follow-up to a successful program in early 2007 on political Weblogs, the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, KS, will host a panel discussion about another dynamic and growing community on the Internet: military blogs (also known as “milblogs”).

Blogs from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan have allowed readers at home to connect with soldiers, contractors and civilians who are serving their countries, and they have forced the Pentagon to rush headlong into this 21st century medium.

Milblogs began to appear shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. They saw a dramatic increase in usage following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. According to Joshua Patterson, a KU graduate student studying journalism, Milblogging.com had indexed more than 1,800 military blogs in more than 30 countries as of Dec. 1, 2007.

“Milblogs and soldier blogs are often gripping and graphic firsthand accounts of the author’s life and experiences,” said Jonathan Earle, interim director of the Dole Institute. “This program will give our audience a window onto a new and fast-changing part of the so-called ‘new media.’ I can’t recall a similar program anywhere else in the country.”

The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Dole Institute. It is free and open to the public.

Like last year’s “Blog to the Chief” program at the Dole Institute, this discussion will be moderated by David Perlmutter, associate dean of KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and author of the books “Visions of War” and “Blogwars.” The panel will feature Charles J. “Jack” Holt, chief of New Media Operations for the Department of Defense, and leading military bloggers Ward Carroll, editor of Military.com; and John Donovan, lead blogger of Argghhh! The Home of Two of Jonah’s Military Guys.

Holt is a career Pentagon civilian employee. He served with the National Guard at the National Guard Bureau and was deployed to Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia. The New Media Outreach program, which he leads, studies how new technologies inform the public of defense policy and operations.

During his 20-year Navy career, Caroll served in four F-14 squadrons, accumulating more than 2,800 flight hours in operations that included five extended aircraft carrier deployments to hostile regions. Carroll has worked as a writer and cartoonist for Approach magazine and is the author of five books, including “Militia Kill.” He currently blogs at Defensetech.org and his personal site, wardcarroll.com.

Donovan is a retired soldier who served for 20 years as an artillery expert, military historian, training and simulations expert and weapons of mass destruction response planner. He currently works as a defense contractor for the Army, working on everything from simulation development to operational analysis. He has worked on projects ranging from developing an analytic personnel management model to future Army concepts, structures and equipment. As a blogger, he covers military affairs, firearms, military history and politics.

Originally posted January 26, 2008 at PolicyByBlog

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