As you learned in the previous post, your humble blogger is being flown to Paris to receive an award for journalism in defense of human rights, as practiced on this very blog. I am deeply honored to be recognized among the 29 other winners, whose work I admire and only hope to emulate.
There’s a certain cache to “award-winning journalist” that I’m having great fun trying out. What does an award winning journalist have for breakfast? Granola? Yes. On the other hand, “award-winning blogger” doesn’t quite measure up — the phrase calls to mind particularly well-captioned kitten photos, or urgent coverage of the latest mobile handset. Or that blogging houseplant.
Awards don’t count for much on the Internet. Even traffic may not matter much — Internet fame is fleeting and fickle. The only reasonable metric for success, I am told, is not fame but influence. So this is what we aspire to, hard as it may be to measure. But failing that, I’ll take the trip to Paris (thanks Internews & The Elders!).
On that end, you’ll be getting a steady stream of travel dispatches, as I work my way from Chicago to London to Amman to Paris and back over the next two weeks. The stop in Amman is courtesy of the Arab Reform Initiative — more on that to come.
— Jonathan Eyler-Werve