blogs - "the pressure of instant accountability"

Hugh Hewitt put his finger on it a little while back, what I like about blogs, their power, and what I now expect from news sources: instant accountability.

I think I'm suited to blogs because I've lived "high accountability" for years, because of my living situation. I live across the street from the ministry I run, Harambee, and the entire neighborhood watches me all the time. People watch when I come and when I go. They see who visits my house. They see who I hang out with. The watch me unload my car after returning from the market. Now that I run the center as executive director, I feel even more pressure. I sign the checks - tons of people have opinions about how I use the money. I make decisions about programs, staff, taking action in difficult situations, and people who are not under the pressure I'm under get to criticize freely. It's the territory that comes with our vision of making whole disciples via incarnational ministry. I'm free to leave or quit or move along, no one is making me stay, and each day I choose anew this life. In the process I've learned the "high accountability" cuts both ways. People want to hold me accountable, fine. But I'm going to quickly turn around and hold the critic accountable as well. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I feel a measure of protection because, whatever standard gets applied to me, I'm going to apply it to the critic.

Anyway - from "high accountability" to "instant accountabilty" wasn't too much of a leap, especially for a person with a well-fed ego (me). I appreciate others, especially journalists who blog, for choosing to live with such transparency. But it's definitely a jolt for folks who are unused to visibility or accountability.

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