Think Tank Bloggers
Matthew Yglesias notes that he missed several interesting foreign policy op-eds by Brookings Institution fellows because they were published in overseas papers.
The incident reminds me of a point I’ve been meaning to make — more think tanks should be encouraging their fellows to blog. Most of the claims that have been made about blogging vis-Ãƒ -vis traditional journalism are, I think, overblown, but the weblog is an ideal format in which to pursue the think tank’s core mission of providing timely, expert commentary on current issues to an informed, but largely non-expert audience.
Agreed. While Philip Gordon, Michael O’Hanlon, and the others have little problem getting their work published in the editorial pages of major papers, the weblog is a terrific format for roughing out their thoughts and announcing and linking more polished pieces that are available elsewhere. Certainly, frequent blogging hasn’t seemed to hurt the “real” writing of Dan Drezner, Brad DeLong, Phil Carter, Michelle Malkin, and others. Or Matt, for that matter.
I dare to suggest to you, that blogs, particularly group efforts (Q&O and Volokh as exmaples of fine group efforts) or those with very active comments sections (This one, Drezner, AQ are good examples of these) ARE in fact think tanks. One need not be within institutional walls to be such.