Friday, April 02, 2010


TRANSCRIPTION: Craig Newmark on newspapers at UC-Berkeley in 2005

founder, CRAIG.S LIST

At the New Media Public Lecture Series
Presented by the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism
and the
Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

March 22, 2005, Berkeley, Calif.



Sometimes we look at the big news and we try to figure out who should we trust what should we trust about issues like Anwar drilling or maybe this Weapons of Mass Destruction thing. How do we know what to trust, who to trust or something like that? And it has occurred to me personally that this is a big issue for our times because it affects our lives in a huge way. So my mind has drifted into this, into these areas where journalism and news are changing. And this is a big deal . . . .

. . . . Also as a matter of conscience, we do know that Craig's List is affecting the classified revenue that newspapers get and we're trying to understand this. And you might correct me in a number of ways. For example, I've read some reports which says the kind of classifieds we get are normally the ones that would never go to a newspaper. I don't know . . . I hear both sides of that.

I do tell people that my instincts tell me that the problem has more to do with loss of trust. People talk about it, people of multiple political stripes, they say that they know the whole Iraq thing. People know that something went on, apparently a scam, and yet people didn't cover that . . . .

. . . . A good example of citizen journalism is Ohmy News out of Korea. They were the folks who broke the best the story of apparently Conde Rice perjuring herself in front of the 911 Commission. I haven't seen peep out of that in the American press, but these people drilled down pretty hard and did a good job. There was even I think Congressman Waxman has recommended a congressional inquiry which hasn't gone anywhere. It wasn't reported . . . .

. . . So I have a feeling this trust issues are a big thing. What's gonna. matter is things are evolving, we are seeing a for real, you choose your term, a transition to new means of delivering the news, to writing it, to new means of filtering and fact checking.
I don't really know what I'm talking about. I'm a full-time customer service rep. But I've enlisted the aide of people who, let's say, are noted in this area, and am talking to them and trying to get some help. Personally I want to do something to help the people who are getting seriously involved in that. That's me speaking personally. I can do some promotion, I might do a little funding in tiny amounts. And then I'll have to decide if I want to drag Craig's List into it . . . .

. . . It's incumbent on me to maybe help people [in journalism] who are doing the real heavy hitting . . . .

. . . The technology's changing. People are demanding more in terms of news, oh, some of the news that is normally not covered. People are also requesting that news be much better fact checked. Stuff like that. I don't know where it's going to happen, but I feel things are going to get a lot better for news producers, editors, that role will expand, and there will be editors who are news filters, aggregators, more. And we're going to see new kinds of newspapers and magazines delivered over the net. The publishers, though, the one's that are not starting to change, like today, may be screwed. I don't know.

QUESTION: Have you thought much about what aspect of "citizens journalism" interest you the most?

Remember, I acknowledge my ignorance and I'm also lazy. So what I'm doing is I'm getting other people to look at that kind of thing, because maybe we shouldn't get into it. Maybe we should find one or more of the places where people are doing that kind of thing and then say, hey, this is good. Maybe personally I'll say hey, here is a story I'm personally concerned with and has taken a look at it and they think it is for real and let's proceed with that . . . fact check is really good because it is very clear they are non-partisan . . . .

QUESTION: The currency you seem to trade in is trust and not money.

. . . . I don't know if I'm any of those things. Basically, I'm one very persistent nerd. I have I guess an obligation to the community I've built up. I'm going to keep the faith. I'm not an activist or anything like that. I just feel things should be better. And I don't want to be pious about any of that stuff. That's what I'm working on. It's fairly gratifying . . . I don't care too much about a lot of politics, but one of my roles is to fight scams, and I don't care whether they are economic or political scams.

QUESTION: On the one hand, deliberately or not, had you have helped to push journalism to this very crucial inflection point, because you're broken up our business model. So what do you hear when we make the comment about community journalism? What do you envision that being?

I'm not sure about what community journalism will be. I do think professional and amateur journalism, it's all going to blur together. Fact checking might become a job that lots of people do. I think editors and journalists are going to be paid directly by people in the community. If you find someone whose news you can rely on and trust and action on, you may wind up being paid for that. There's going to be some kind of new role that is going to merge editor and critic and fact checker filter. Because even the job of a theater critic is to filter out all that and tell you want you want to see.

Same thing with the TV critic or a movie critic. I think this is all going to merge together. I think people are going to be paying sometimes for content. And I think we may end up, eventually, paying people for their magazines of sorts, of content that we might want to see and for that matter content that comes out at random that we don't know we want to see but it might be entertaining.

QUESTION: Isn't it hard to discern trust online?

In terms of trust and all that, I haven't thought about that in depth except the idea of being continually engaged with people. I'd just say keep engaged with people and treat them like you want to be treated and in terms of you're writing style, don't sound like you're a corporate business person. Just snd like you're a person . . . .We're all pretty smart consumers. And the kids these day with their instant messaging and rock music, the kids are becoming even smarter and smarter about consuming media and they are probably not so much cynical as just experienced.

QUESTION: So, what I'm hearing is that somebody is going to have to start paying people to run fact-check programs. The media is broadening. Somebody is going to have to start pay for these people's salaries. Where is this going to come from? Are the consumers going to start paying more money?

I'm not sure. My guess is that, yea, there will be a lot of people who will possibly be glad to pay more money for more reliable news as they perceive it. This will be mixed in a lot with entertainment and so on. I know I'd be willing to and whenever I talk about it, people are willing to do that. It is starting to work in Korea. We'll just have to see how it goes otherwise. I may be very wrong. The thing is we do know some kind of change is occurring.

The effect we are probably having in terms of classified revenue we're probably accelerating the change and again for me it is very important that people whose job this relies on, at least people hear about this a lot and try to figure out where this is trying to take you. So people can start to prepare now for the kind of change that is happening and this will be a big deal. I think I put up a link, in terms of stories today, I think the Annenberg [Center] is starting to put up information about how citizen journalists are starting to train themselves.

QUESTION: The notion of fact checkers seems so establishment. How do you see those things bubbling up?

I have a different opinion. Everyone I talk to from possibly the producer or consumer side, they want fact checking. We want something they can trust, which means someone has to go over the details. And that sounds good to me.

QUESTION: So that's the old model, sort of?

Maybe so. But, see, I don't care if it is old or new or whatever. I want something I can trust. Which means fact checking, usually someone else doing it.

QUESTION: Are you worried about people taking away your market share?

We do consider that. Efforts in the U.S. have failed because it was pretty clear they weren.t dedicated to customer service and they were just trying to make a lot of money fast. In Europe, there are a number of sites in the native languages which are doing fine . . . .

QUESTION: So it is the trust that everybody is working in?

Trust. Well, that's pretty much how we run our lives. Our lives are pretty much who you know, which is another way of saying, who do you trust?


-- END OF TALK ---

Saturday, November 08, 2008


ADAGE: Craigslist will no longer run erotic service ads for free


Craigslist Will No Longer Run Erotic Service Ads for Free

Under Attorneys General Agreement, Will Charge $10 Per Listing

By Michael Learmonth
Advertising Age

Published: November 06, 2008

NEW YORK ( -- Under pressure from state attorneys general, Craigslist is going to start charging for "erotic services" ads.

Known for its free ads and its community-first ideals, Craigslist announced an agreement today with 40 states to charge $10 for each ad, but will donate the proceeds to charity. Craigslist until now had only charged for employment ads in some cities and real estate listings in New York, much to the chagrin of newspapers that once relied on classified advertising for revenue. Listings will also require a valid credit card and telephone number.

The information will then be available for subpoena by law enforcement officials investigating illegal activity such as prostitution, human trafficking or child exploitation. The new measures were outlined in a deal announced today in a statement by Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Requiring phone numbers, credit cards and identifying details will provide a road map to prostitutes and sex traffickers -- so we can track them down and lock them up," Mr. Blumenthal said in the statement. "Prostitutes will hopefully stop using Craigslist to break the law, knowing that their posts could lead to arrest and conviction." Craigslist also agreed to sue 14 firms that circumvent the company's own technical defenses against misuse.

"The incidence of crime on Craigslist is actually exceedingly low, considering the tens of millions of legitimate ads posted each month by well-intentioned users," Mr. Buckmaster said. "But no amount of criminal activity is acceptable, and as Craigslist has grown, we have become aware of instances where our free services were being misused to facilitate illegal activities."

Craigslist supports itself by charging $25 for employment ads in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston, Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Seattle and San Diego, and $75 in San Francisco, as well as $10 for brokered apartment listings in New York. Earlier this year it started requiring a working telephone number for listings in "erotic services," a move that cut the number of listings by 80%. According to Craigslist, its service is used by 40 million Americans each month.


This article above is copyrighted material, the use of which may not have specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of political, economic, democracy, First Amendment, technology, journalism, community and justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' as provided by Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Chapter 1, Section 107, the material above is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this blog for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Carnegie / Knight Initiaitve Seeks To Transform Journalism Education in U.S.



Program Preparing Journalism Students to Lead Industry Change Gains Momentum

Miami, Florida and New York, New York, July 7, 2008 - Seeking to change the way journalism is taught in the United States, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are investing more than $11 million in the expansion of a national initiative to adapt journalism education to the challenges of a struggling news industry. Three new journalism schools are joining the effort of redefining journalism education and training a new generation of journalists capable of reshaping the news industry.

The expansion will deepen and extend:
. News21 (an experimental, online news incubator);
. Curriculum enhancement;
. and a journalism education policy task force.

Each foundation will contribute half of the new funding, and allocate it among each of the initiative's three distinct efforts.

With the addition of the three schools, the initiative now funds curriculum enhancement and student fellowships at 11 journalism schools and one research center. The three new schools, Arizona State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, join schools currently supported by the initiative at: University of Southern California; University of Texas at Austin; University of Maryland; Northwestern University; Columbia University; University of Missouri; Syracuse University; and University of California at Berkeley. A research center, the Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is also supported by the initiative.

In announcing the initiative's expansion, Carnegie Corporation president Vartan Gregorian spoke about the centrality to a fully-functioning democracy of well-informed, bold journalists. "Today's journalists must be steeped in experience and deeply knowledgeable about the subjects they report on." Gregorian continued, "To understand the underlying ideas and possible ramifications of import, even truly transformative events, requires that journalists be trained and informed enough to deal with complex, nuanced information with a richness and depth."

"Although traditional models of newspaper, radio and local television news dissemination are severely challenged," said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation, "every community in this democracy continues to have a core need for reliable information, news that informs and news that helps build the common language that builds community. That need will not go away and provide hope for future journalists. They will tell those stories with traditional, verification-journalism values but on multiple platforms and structures influenced by new technology. Journalism can train them to do that and, in that sense, journalism schools have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the industry. Carnegie and Knight want them to succeed."

The initiative's credo-to accelerate change at universities educating tomorrow's journalists-has begun to have an impact on the news business as the pipeline of young and innovative reporters from initiative-supported schools bring their skills to newsrooms around the country and across all media platforms.

Curriculum enhancement
Journalism schools participating in the initiative have received funding from the two foundations to expand the intellectual horizons of journalism students, in large part by harnessing the tremendous subject-matter expertise that resides in each of the universities. In addition to an emphasis on the fundamentals of the journalism craft, initiative-funded schools are encouraged to draw on the resources of the larger university to help reporters-in-training build specialized expertise to enhance their coverage of complex beats from international affairs and economics to health care and education. Exposure to experts on their own campus helps students to gain first-hand knowledge of the societies, languages, religions and cultures of other parts of the world.

Deans at newly funded schools are supporting enhancements ranging from a multidisciplinary seminar on Latino life in the United States at Arizona State and a series of courses at Nebraska focusing on issues related to Native Americans to new interdisciplinary courses at North Carolina on various manifestations of globalization jointly offered by the university's professional schools of business, law, public health and social science.

Columbia University's renewed support allows the school to attract leading scholars from outside the realm of journalism to the school. At USC's Annenberg School, collaboration with the campus's arts schools is underway which will create a program for students focusing on journalism and music, theatre dance and film. Northwestern's Medill School will leverage its on-campus expertise to focus on immigrant-related reporting. And, the graduate school of journalism at UC Berkeley will strengthen a course, initiated with the 2005 grant, to develop reporting specialties with the graduate schools of health and business.

News for the 21st Century: Incubators of New Ideas
Experimental reporting on little-covered issues generated during the summer by students participating in the News21 incubator has been published or broadcast by news organizations including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, L.A. Weekly,, the Associated Press, Canadian Broadcast Corporation and CNN. This summer student-produced reports will be published on, the incubator's current national news partner, as well as at

The News21 journalism incubator will grow from four to eight campuses, increasing the number of competitive, paid summer fellowships to 93 from 44. The summer fellowships, open to students at each of the 12 initiative supported schools, are preceded by a semester of self-guided research and intensive seminar work with professors who are acknowledged experts in the student's field of inquiry. During the summer, students report their stories and produce their material for publication or broadcast across a number of platforms.

Christopher Callahan, dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, which will spearhead the News21 project from its new Phoenix campus,
believes the new storytelling techniques and "convergence" journalism practiced by News21 fellows is precisely what today's newsrooms are demanding. "This type of journalism prepares students for the newsroom of the future where the person who shoots the piece may also write it and edit it. And, the following day will be expected to produce a story for the web or something altogether different."

Journalism Task Force
The Carnegie-Knight Task Force joins together one-time competitors in journalism education to work toward addressing and adapting to the sea-change taking place in the news business. Renewed funding for the Task Force, housed at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, will allow it to produce policy-oriented research for the deans of the 12 participating institutions.

The Task Force allows the schools to speak out in a single, authoritative voice about the importance of upholding the highest standards and ideals of journalism. It has taken public stands on issues of importance to practicing journalists as it did in a July 2006 op-ed published in the Washington Post on privacy, security and state secrets. The piece, signed by deans at five of the initiative-funded schools, is thought to be the first time a group of deans has spoken out on an issue of importance to working journalists. And, a December 2007 New York Times op-ed focused on the FCC and proposed changes that could affect local journalism.

A 2007 Task Force survey titled The Internet and the Threat It Poses to Local Media: Lessons from News in the Schools offered evidence of a strong movement in America's classrooms toward the use of Internet-based news and away from the use of newspapers and television news, a trend that the survey's authors said was virtually certain to continue. This and other Task Force products have served as a catalyst for the industry-presenting solid research, an element of urgency and a sense of mission.

The Task Force will continue to take public stands and issue public statements pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of media companies, journalists, educators, government and American citizens. It will stand in opposition to institutional, structural, and commercial threats to the integrity of the profession and will work to improve the quality of the journalism industry and journalism education.

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." For more than 95 years the Corporation has carried out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy by building on his two major concerns: international peace and advancing education and knowledge. As a private grantmaking foundation, the Corporation will invest more than $100 million this year in nonprofits to fulfill Mr. Carnegie's mission, "to do real and permanent good in this world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $3 billion on September 30, 2007.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted more than $300 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change. To learn more, visit

For further information contact:

- George Soule, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Public Affairs,
212-207-6273 ,

- Marc Fest, vice president of communication, Knight Foundation,

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


CHARGING: In St. Paul, Singleton says "industry solution" needed


"Long term, we've got to get paid for news (online) or we can't keep producing
it," he said. But he said that has to be an industry-wide solution and not just
one paper acting alone.

ORIGINAL URL (no longer active):

Posted on Fri, Apr. 28, 2006

No major changes, new owner tells Pioneer Press

St. Paul [Minn.] Pioneer Press

The fate of the Pioneer Press became a little clearer Thursday as William Dean Singleton said the newspaper won't see major changes after his company becomes its owner sometime this summer.

"You're joining us because we want you," Singleton, the CEO of MediaNews Group Inc., told employees packed into a stifling conference room. "We think there's a lot of opportunity here, and if we didn't want it, we wouldn't have bought it."

His arrival at the Pioneer Press followed the announcement Wednesday of a four-paper acquisition by MediaNews, which is based in Denver. Singleton's company, teaming with Hearst Corp., is buying the St. Paul paper and three California papers in a complicated $1 billion deal.

Singleton said he and the top people at his newspapers are trying to craft the best strategy for growth on the Internet side of the business.

"Long term, we've got to get paid for news (online) or we can't keep producing it," he said. But he said that has to be an industry-wide solution and not just one paper acting alone.

John Welbes can be reached at or 651-228-2175.


This article above is copyrighted material, the use of which may not have
specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material is made available
in an effort to advance understanding of political, economic, democracy, First
Amendment, technology, journalism, community and justice issues, etc. We
believe this constitutes a 'fair use' as provided by Section 107 of U.S.
Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Chapter 1, Section 107, the
material above is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving the included information for research and
educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this blog
for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


CONFERENCE: Online News Association / Oct. 17-18 / Toronto

FORWARDING NEWS RELEASE from Tiffany Shackelford, on behalf of the Online
News Association . . .

Leading digital journalists, bloggers and educators from around the world will gather to discuss the practical and the possible in online journalism during the eighth annual conference of the Online News Association (ONA), to be held Oct. 17-19, 2007, in Toronto.

Organizers say the conference will feature panels, workshops and hands-on training. Participants will glean skills and information that will enrich newsrooms, transform classrooms and further the goals of those wanting to tell stories and create communities on the Web.

"There are conferences for Web strategists and advertisers, technical people and publishers, but as far as I know only the Online News Association focuses on Internet information and journalism for journalists," said Leonard Apcar <> Deputy Managing Editor, International Herald Tribune and ONA board member.

The conference is aimed at new and veteran Web journalists, bloggers and executives charged with growing the bottom line. It is structured around three tracks: community and convergence, content and design, and business.

The Community and Convergence track will sort out the nuts and bolts of how to build a strong online community and use cutting-edge software to tell stories in new ways. Community news experts, including Rob Curley and JD Lasica, will give attendees insight on how to become community evangelists. The brightest minds from, CBC News and will show how broadcasters can rule online news.

The Content and Design track will focus on how best to create and package content for the Web. Each panel in the content and design track will spur the audience to think of new ways to engage their online audiences and ask questions about what lies ahead for interactive experiences. Panel attendees will come away with specific tips and tricks to be used immediately, as well as ideas for future projects.

The Business Track will focus on emerging technologies and publishing trends and will feature speakers who have innovated tools that can be applied to online news sites. The future of advertising, monetization and staffing will be addressed, as will the new legal challenges facing digital news production.

"So much of what will determine the future of journalism is happening online today, and there's no better way to keep up with the latest trends than by attending the only all-digital journalism conference," explains Jim Brady <> , Executive Editor & Vice President,

In addition to the three tracks, additional workshops are happening on Wednesday, Oct. 17. Come hone your skills on Flash, video shooting and citizen media. Join representatives from the Knight Foundation and learn about the Knight News Challenge, meet this year's winners, and find out more about deadlines and requirements for the next competition.

The conference capstone will take place on the evening of Oct. 19, when the Online Journalism Awards are announced.

Register online <> ( for the conference and awards banquet. The early bird conference fee for ONA members is $399. Early bird registration lasts until Sept. 16. After Sept. 16, the fee will be $449 for ONA members. The non-member rate is $549, regardless of registration date.

Reserve your hotel room by Sept. 16 to get the ONA discount rate: The Sheraton Centre, Toronto, is offering conference attendees a rate of $191 ($229 CAD) a night. After Sept. 16, regular rates are in effect. Reserve rooms online <>( or call (416) 361-1000. When calling, mention the ONA conference to receive the discounted rate.

**A passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling by air to Canada.**

For more information, contact Tiffany Shackelford
<> ( or
Chrys Wu <> (



Tiffany Shackelford
Assistant Managing Editor for Outreach and Technology
The Pew Research Center
1615 L Street, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Daily Kos blogger Jerome Armstrong fined by SEC for not disclosing interest


August 8, 2007, 2:15 pm
Blogger to Pay $30,000 in S.E.C. Case
By Chris Suellentrop

Tags: Jerome Armstrong, s.e.c.

Prominent liberal blogger Jerome Armstrong has agreed to pay nearly $30,000 in fines in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations that Armstrong touted the stock of a software company on Raging Bull, an Internet bulletin board, in 2000, without disclosing that he was being paid to do so.Armstrong, the co-author of .Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics,. with Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, and the founder of the Democratic activist site, consented to a civil penalty of $20,000, plus disgorgement of $5,832, and $3,235 in interest.

The settlement resolves the S.E.C..s claims against Armstrong, said Robert Burson of the S.E.C..s Chicago office.Under the agreement, Armstrong neither denies nor admits to the allegations..It.s good to see the matter finally end,. Armstrong said in an e-mail message to The Opinionator today.


U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC Seal Home | Previous Page
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Litigation Release No. 20228 / August 7, 2007

SEC v. Sierra Brokerage Services, Inc., et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Civil Action
No. C2-03-326

On July 26, 2007, the Honorable John D. Holschuh, U. S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, entered a Final Judgment as to defendant Jerome B. Armstrong ("Armstrong"). The Final Judgment permanently enjoins Armstrong from future violations of Section 17(b) of the Securities of 1933. The Final Judgment further orders Armstrong to pay disgorgement in the amount of $5,832, prejudgment interest of $3,235, and a civil penalty of $20,000. Armstrong consented to the entry of the Final Judgment without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's Complaint, except as to jurisdiction.

The Commission's Complaint, filed on April 14, 2003, alleged that beginning on March 6, 2000, Armstrong touted the stock of BluePoint Linux Software Corporation ("BluePoint") by posting unsubstantiated, favorable buy recommendations on the Raging Bull internet site. Armstrong posted over eighty such recommendations during the first three weeks that the stock of BluePoint was publicly traded. According to the Complaint, Armstrong praised BluePoint's investment value and encouraged investors who were experiencing trouble having their orders filled to keep trying. The Complaint further alleged that the promoters of BluePoint were secretly transferring stock in three other companies to Armstrong at prices below the then current market for those three stocks and that Armstrong made at least $20,000 by selling the shares he received from the promoters of BluePoint. The Complaint alleges that Armstrong did not disclose in his internet postings that he was being compensated for !
making the postings.


Modified: 08/07/2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007


MINI-PROFILE: Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga spent teen years in Chicago area

ORIGINAL URL:,CST-NWS-markos03.article

Native Chicagoan began blog as 'personal therapy'

August 3, 2007

By Abdon M. Pallasch
Chicago Sun-Times

Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga, 35, started blogging five years ago as "personal therapy" to get his frustrations with the Bush administration off his chest. "It was the tail end of the Afghanistan war and the lead-up to the Iraq war, and any sort of dissent against the president was considered treason and unpatriotic," he said. "It was never intended to be anything beyond personal therapy." But a lot of Americans were feeling the same frustrations, and his blog caught on. Now, he says, it's the most popular political blog out there.

"A lot of bloggers out there are much better writers than I am," Moulitsas said. "My talent has been in building communities." It wasn't until late 2004, when some conservatives started attacking him, that Moulitsas realized the impact he was beginning to have. "I knew they would not be hammering me if they did not perceive me as a threat," he said.

Moulitsas had an unusual childhood. Born in Chicago and raised in El Salvador, he returned here with his family after a civil war broke out there in 1980. He felt he did not fit in with the 2,000 students at Schaumburg High School. "They weren't really my type," he said. "I would have been happier if this technology existed back then. I would have been online talking to people like me. All we had was Pong."

Moulitsas graduated at 17 and joined the U.S. Army. After a three-year hitch, he enrolled at Northern Illinois University, earning degrees in philosophy, journalism and political science. He got a law degree from Boston University, then moved to Berkeley, Calif., to work in the tech industry. He lives there now with his wife and two children. He won't be coming back to Chicago: "Too hot, too cold, too flat."


The article above is copyrighted material, the use of which may not have specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of political, economic, democracy, First Amendment, technology, journalism, community and justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' as provided by Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Chapter 1, Section 107, the material above is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this blog for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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