Six years ago last month, I decided to start a blog about political polls. It felt daunting and little crazy, especially given that I lacked any background in journalism. A few days before clicking "publish" for the first time, The New Republic published a brief article by Andrew Sullivan on the blogosphere's uprising against Dan Rather's and CBS News. It included this passage:
Journalism is not a profession as such. It's a craft. You get better at it by doing it; and there are very few ground rules. By and large, anyone with a mind, a modem, a telephone, and a conscience can be a journalist. The only criterion that matters is that you get stuff right; and if you get stuff wrong (and you will), you correct yourself as soon as possible. The blogosphere is threatening to some professional journalists because it exposes these simple truths. It demystifies the craft. It makes it seem easy--because, in essence, it often is.
I found that paragraph "truly inspirational." I know this to be true because I used those words in an email I sent at the time to my wife. "Though I'm not sure how I'll find the time," I added, "MysteryPollster.com, here we come."
I got the blog launched, of course, and a few weeks later, amazingly, Sullivan started linking to things I wrote. Six years later, there is still no higher compliment than a link from the Daily Dish.
As we all know, Sullivan helped invent the literary and journalistic form known as blogging and continues to set the bar for excellence in this evolving new idiom. It is an honor to help celebrate ten years of the Daily Dish. May it be with us for many years to come.
Read Mark at Pollster.