Rogers Park Bloggers Are All White

“Fifth bloggiest,” neighborhood in the U.S., that’s Rogers Park, Chicago. New blogs in Rogers Park, “America’s most diverse neighborhood.” Yah, right. Kheris asks, “We do a lot of blogging in RP, why? Perhaps, I guess, it is because we have one of the more flagrantly corrupt, secretive and inept aldermen in the City of Chicago. They do a lot of revolutions in South America, why? See the previous sentence. The difference: Americans are generally more complacent than many in the world, and blogging is a comfy way to be an armchair rebel. (Yes, that’s my phrase; feel free to steal it.) Jocelyn is working on an article that she plans “to get published locally about the Rogers Park blogging community.” I look forward to that. Jocelyn is a thoughtful writer and a very long-time resident of the neighborhood. Craig noted recently that there are two new Rogers Park blogs. Okay, but it begs the question that I asked when the Northwestern University journalism students blew through here some weeks ago. On camera, I said that it is distressing that it seems all of the Rogers Park bloggers are, well, white. The fact that those individuals are white does not bother me. But it would be nice to see this “diverse neighborhood” represented in the blogosphere. Search Technorati for blogs about Rogers Park at Sorry, none pop out at me that seem to be anything but lilly white. Why do non-whites not blog? Why do white folks seem more compelled to blog? Do Rogers Park’s non-white residents read the blogs? One has to wonder whether the recent aldermanic election would have turned out differently if more people of color read the local blogs. Maybe I'm just missing them, maybe they're out there. But if so, they seem to be invisible. Please tell me if I'm wrong; are there any black or latino bloggers in Rogers Park? Craig’s got the most-read blog in the ‘hood. In round figures, he gets 1,000 readers on a good day. And that’s excellent for any blog. But on any given day that only represents a mere 1.53 percent of the approximately 65,000 Rogers Park residents. That leaves, of course, over 98 percent of the neighborhood that does NOT read his – or any other – blog. And that’s a shame, because the local media suck at covering Rogers Park.


  1. i think you're asking a good question and have the door wide open for solutions and a more accurate representation of Rogers Park. i here what you are saying -- you are happy for the voices that are out there, and its fine that they are white -- but there should be more voices, that reflect the diversity of the ward. i think many of those diverse voices might be in high school & college.

    The anti-Shiller crowd in Uptown could really learn from you. They have the same perception problem -- they are thought of as white and (relatively) rich. Yet they don't take many opportunities to show it. i really wish they would ask the question you ar eon message board or (gasp!) UptownAvenger blog

  2. Good question about the demographics. I would say there probably are black bloggers, but I don't expect a lot of them and it would be interesting to find out why.

  3. I don't disagree with your point but need to address your statistical analysis: there may be about 60+k residents but many are children or elderly. Those nursing home residents count for the census but do you really expect them to be reading blogs (though they are registered to vote but that's another topic)? A more accurate comparison would be to households, of which there are about 24k (give or take). Even if we allow 2 adults per household, that still only makes for about 48k potential readers.

    Yes, there is civic apathy, and that's a problem. But the flip side is that most people are incredibly pressed for time. 2-income families with demanding jobs and commutes (not made easier by our public transport system), child activities to supervise, the usual amount of R&R or even going out to dinner, movie, reading a book, doesn't really leave a lot of time to get involved. Our local media largely doesn't focus on local issues, instead they turn our attention to Gitmo or Libby or whatever the hysteria du jour is. Open the paper and read about the idiots in Springfield and it's enough to cause one to throw up your hands and run straight to American Idol (or at least re-runs of Law & Order).

    Instead of bemoaning apathy or berating people, we need to figure out how to reach and engage them and make them want to give their time.

  4. Pamela,

    I think you missed the point.

  5. I agree with Julie. Although Pamela made some interesting comments, I do not see what Gitmo or Libby have to do the ethnic make up of our local bloggers. Pamela, nobody was "bemoaning ... or berating people," and the primary thrust of my post was, as you yourself put it, "to figure out how to reach and engage" more people in this ongoing discussion, albeit within the blogosphere. Thanks!


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