Saturday, March 10, 2007


FOLLOWUP: John Moyle talks about the move from anonymity to identity


John Moyle of The Overland Examiner, a local online news blog in a St. Louis, Mo., suburb, in a Sept. 15, 2006, email exchange with Bill Densmore of The Media Giraffe Project:

Recently I decided to really "stick my neck out" over at _the Overland
Examiner_ ( . I posted an article
entitled "_Who is this Guy?_
( " where I "outed" myself in both name as well as a picture right before our Sept. 11th, 2006 City Council Meeting. I wanted to make it clear that I stood behind my reporting and that I would not bend to intimidation. Also, since my UMass course requires a blog on their site, and the web address included my real name I figured it was only a matter of time before they learned my identity anyway. I had promoted the website with business cards that included my real name earlier, though people connected to them still choose to refer to me a"Mike". I decided to make sure that I was the one to blame for my work.

Since then the mayor has been on my block twice and one of her supporting Council Members was (according to a neighbor) parked outside my house for 15 minutes or so yesterday afternoon. None of this means anything of course, though I foresee a host of code violation letters in my future.

I went to the Sept. 11th Council Meeting and was surprised that 7 or 8 people came up to me to thank me for what I was doing and ask me to keep it up. A few offered to help as well. One whom I have come to know pretty well said she wanted my address to send a thank you note to my wife for putting up with all of this. She sent the note as well as a check for $100.00 to help support my efforts. I did not have one negative encounter. No one who might have an issue with what I am doing confronted me at that meeting. Also, since the meeting I now seem to have something of an "old lady brigade" as I affectionately (and privately) refer to it. Older residents, mostly women, are calling me, emailing me, faxing me, and even driving to my house to make sure I get whatever information they have come across right away.

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