Independent blogs, from Daily Kos to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com, have created new forums for real-time news and expert insights into the arcana of the American political process. The emergence of powerful political voices in the world of new media has shifted the balance of reporting and interaction with the electorate away from the trinity of newspaper–radio–television. As media producers, the creators of political messages on the Internet, whether sponsored by established media outlets or driven by individuals or groups, now dominate social media traffic involving candidates and issues.
A panel of leading experts discuss and debate this phenomenon and its implications for U.S. politics.
- Michael Crawford, Director of Online Programs, Freedom to Marry
Crawford manages the organization Freedom to Marry’s websites, email program, online fundraising, and social media presence. He was a leading strategist for the successful campaign to win freedom to marry in Washington, D.C. with a focus on public education, community outreach, and communications strategy. He was co-founder and co-chair of D.C. for Marriage, a grassroots group that engaged in thousands of conversations with District residents about gay people and marriage with a particular focus on building support in the African-American community.
- Shelby Knox, Director of Organizing, Women's Rights, Change.org
Feminist organizer, speaker and writer, Shelby Knox is nationally known as the subject of The Education of Shelby Knox, a Sundance award-winning film that chronicled her high school activism for comprehensive sex education & the establishment of a Gay Straight Alliance in her conservative hometown.
- Eric Lach, Reporter, TalkingPointsMemo
From 2010 to 2011, Lach was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications.
- Kyle Leighton, Editor, PollTracker app
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media's PollTracker, the leading mobile app for poll information. After graduating from Beloit College (WI), he worked for candidates and elected officials in Wisconsin and his home state of Maine. In 2010 he received an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.
- Alex Stanton, Digital Strategist & Client Manager, Blue State Digital
Alex Stanton is a leader in online fundraising, advocacy, social networking, and constituency development programs for nonprofit organizations, political candidates and causes, and corporations, including Obama for America, Wal-Mart Watch, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the Communications Workers of America, raising more than $800 million in contributions to date and generating tens of millions of online signups and actions. He previously worked with GMMB, Citizens for Fiorentini, and as a fellow at The Center for the Study of the Presidency.
Moderator: Chris Pfaff, President, Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC; vice chairman, PGA New Media Council
A board delegate of the PGA New Media Council since 2006, a delegate of the PGA board of directors since 2008, and a PGA NMC member since 2004, Chris Pfaff is a leading new media and technology producer and strategist. He is renowned for integrating leading-edge technology into the media and entertainment community. He was the first to use IRC for an interactive corporate webcast; produced one of the first DVDs, in March, 1997; produced the first HD animated logo; produced some of the first mobile short films in 2002-2003, and produced numerous multipoint broadband events in the late-1990s. He was heavily involved with the launch of both Digital Television and digital terrestrial radio in the U.S., and helped launch the world’s first HDTV-over-fiber offering.
His company, Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC, provides strategy and marketing services for leading technology service providers and new media companies worldwide. Since founding Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC in 2002, Chris has represented a wide range of clients, including strategic ventures from Eastman Kodak, PRIMEDIA, Cantor Telecom, and ASCAP, and firms ranging from mobile content distributor Thumbplay, video encoding firm On2 Technologies (sold to Google), and 3D face and body animation production studio face2face animation. He leads a global team that works with a large, and growing, number of European ventures, and acts as an advisor to both technology incubators and investors alike.
Co-sponsored by PGA New Media Council East and the School of Media Studies.