SUNNYVALE, Calif –Jason Mankey credits his public visibility as a Pagan to the blog he writes on the Patheos Pagan channel, Raise the Horns. He is also currently that channel’s editor, a position which has put him in the crosshairs during the sometimes-tense ownership transition to BN Media, a company with a strong Christian influences. He has been praised as a devoted priest of Pan and derided as a corporate minion. In the following conversation, a portrait emerged which is more nuanced than one can often glean from blog posts for and about an individual. The Wild Hunt: Do you do anything with your life other than manage a blog channel at Patheos?
TWH – A new website devoted solely to Pagan bloggers is set to open its doors Mar. 21. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, founder Jamie Morgan was able to begin the project. Since that time PaganBloggers.com has attracted the attention of over 60 writers, musicians, and artists, all of who will begin sharing their work on the new site designed by Pagans for Pagans. Morgan said in an interview with The Wild Hunt, “I hope that [Pagan Bloggers] becomes another destination for readers, because we are all readers, in the pagan community to hear our voices, debate questions, think and learn.”
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Since Patheos was acquired by BN Media late last year, there’s been concerns among the site’s Pagan bloggers about how they will fit into a largely Evangelical organization. Those worries boiled over this week when all Patheos bloggers were asked to sign a new contract with only two days’ notice. It’s being characterized as everything from boilerplate legal language to an all-out attack on freedom of expression, with some writers taking sides and others preferring to wait and see how the situation unfolds. John Halstead has adopted the most direct of approaches by writing a post at his own Patheos blog that was highly critical of the new contract.
The use of the internet in modern Paganism has changed the way that people access information and express themselves in modern culture. One of the most widely used mediums for information sharing has become the blogosphere. Pagan blogs range from having an academic theme to the purely personal, and everything in between. The popular transition from reading books to reading blogs has created a culture of fast information gathering and the ability for everyone to have a format. This has also contributed to the idea that everyone is a potential “expert,” making the distinctions of reliability challenging.
Today, at the Patheos Pagan Channel, Christine Kraemer interviews Anne Newkirk Niven, editor and publisher of Witches & Pagans Magazine, about the current state of Pagan media (among other things). During the interview, Niven expounds on blogs within the umbrella of Pagan media, and the role they serve. Today, blogs fill a specific niche: real-time, fast-paced information. No print media can keep up with the blogosphere; on the other hoof, even the most super-heated debate in the legendary Green Egg forum (letters to the editor) never got as crazily divisive as what happens in the comment-rich, disinhibited atmosphere of the Web. Pagans are an information-hungry group of people; reading led many, if not most, of us onto our paths.