Bottom-Up Journalism Drives Online Causes

One of the chapters in CauseWired will cover the evolution of political campaigns in this super-wired era, from Howard Dean to the infamous “macaca” moment in the 2006 Virgina Senatorial campaign, to this year’s epic primary battle. There are plenty of great blogs and books on wired politics, so I’m not plumbing the fascinating depths of the evolution of journalism; my goal is simply to tie electoral campaigns to other causes – and to show that many of today’s young, wired consumers don’t differentiate between nonprofit activism and political activism. One of the people likely to figure in that chapter is Mayhill Fowler, the blogger and political activist who has broken two big stories on the Democratic campaign trail – and stirred up quite a bit of controversy among self-anointed professional journalists. For Fowler and a lot of activist journalists, the cause is what drives them to gather information and publish it online; impartiality is not part of their motivation – getting people to take sides is. Yesterday’s Times had an interesting profile of Mayhill, who blogs for the OffTheBus project of NYU professor Jay Rosen and blog entrepreneur Arianna Huffington. And Rosen posted his response, along with a fantastic set of links.

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