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Our friends at Progress Missouri sponsored a progressive summit in Columbia, Missouri on December 5th and 6th. On Saturday morning we participated in a panel on new media titled “Evolution of the Interwebs and Social Media” moderated by Pamela Merritt Progress Missouri’s Communication Director with AFSCME’s Alexandra Townsend, Courtney Cole, and the ACLU’s Mustafa Abdullah.

Our moderator started the session by asking the audience to raise their hands if their primary source of news was online, then Twitter, then Facebook, and finally, “dropped off at the front of your house.” Only one person in the audience raised their hand at the mention of old print media.  

Our most awesome, excellent, and humorous panel moderator, Pamela Merritt.

We were asked our preferred platform for alternative media. The panel’s individual responses varied based on the needs of their audience. My response was blogging, for the long form content. The quotes which follow are mine.

“…There’s so many big stories and so many important things to do I think that the, the most important thing is that we continue to tell stories, and we give people information.”

AFSCME’s Alexandra Townsend.

“…I’m always appalled at old media when they say that there’s, there’s vague things about what’s on the record or off the record. The reality is, it’s on the record all the time unless you say it’s off the record. And I identify myself all the time. When I’m doing the blog stuff I have this [photo ID on a lanyard]. Any body talks to me, it’s on the record unless you go, I don’t want this to be on the record and then we agree. Or, you know, don’t talk to me…”

Courtney Cole.

In response to a question about voice:

“…You have to be, believe in something and generally, if you believe in something, we’re pretty angry that things are the way they are…”

“…We should punch up, not down. And, and we constantly try to punch up. But, I, I put it this way….we should comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable…”

ACLU Program Associate Mustafa Abdullah.

“…One of the things that I, I find is that, that people, ordinary people are, are taking to the social media sites of public people and really letting loose. And, I mean, it’s not, it doesn’t appear to me to be organized. It’s just people saying, I see this, and they’re going, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard…and I’ve seen it all across the political spectrum…”

We were asked for a closing comment:

“…Whatever you use…information is power. That’s it.”


I <3 Columbia (December 6, 2014)

I <3 Columbia – part 2 (December 6, 2014)

Progressive Summit in Columbia, Missouri – December 6, 2014 (December 7, 2014)