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WMassP&I in Minneapolis…

From the Editor:

From now through the weekend, Western Mass Politics & Insight is reporting from the Twin Cities at the 6th annual Netroots Nation Convention.  Netroots is a gathering of progressive activists principally composed of Internet/Social Media users.  That definition does not do the gathering justice, but it is apparently among the largest of its kind in the nation.  The core of the group are members of the DailyKos community.

In the first day alone, progressive luminaries like Howard Dean, Randi Weingarten and former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold.  All of them spoke to the challenges that facing the nation and what progressiveness need to do in order to correct it.  From Weingarten’s impassioned defense of teachers, and indeed all civil servants to Feingold’s impassioned call to reverse the damage done by the Citizens United ruling last year, the speakers hit on the issues that motivates these activists the most.

A panel on new media was of particularly not for me and WMassP&I more generally.  As editor I have long sought to use WMassP&I to supplement existing political coverage in Springfield and beyond.  However, the panel suggested that blogs such as this one and others (think On Springfield from Maureen Turner and Bill Dusty’s Springfield Intruder) have an important role to play as legacy media either cannot afford good coverage or is unwilling to provide.

It is also cool to meet several politically famous people, too.  Already I have met John Nichols of the Nation magazine and White House Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer.  The latter was completely an accident as we were boarding the elevator at the same time.  I felt like a goof using the “you look familiar line.”  A much safer “You’re Dan Pfeiffer” was called for.  Anyway, it was the closest to White House (that is the administration not the building) I have ever been.

So we hope to have updates in addition to other stories we have been working on.  Until then…