Numerous bloggers, radio personalities and conservative leaders from Colorado attended Americans for Prosperity's “RightOnline” Internet activism conference in Las Vegas this past weekend. Front Range blogger Kelly Maher and Colorado AFP Chairman and radio talk-show host Jeff Crank were in attendance. Bloggers from Peoples Press Collective, and several other news and opinion blogs joined Internet activists from all over the country to attend educational workshops and to hear speakers such as Sarah Palin, Scott Rasmussen, and Michelle Malkin. Activists and bloggers from the Western Slope also joined over 1,000 like-minded new media reporters and writers at the largest conservative Internet activist event in the country.
RightOnline was started five years ago by AFP's Erik Telford in response to Netroots Nation, the annual gathering of bloggers and Internet activists from the Left end of the political spectrum. The goal of RightOnline has been to train ordinary people to use the Internet to get out the news that is so often ignored or subjected to the spin of the Liberal-biased Mainstream Media. The Internet is a powerful tool that can be used for the instantaneous sharing of news and opinion. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have proven to magnify that power in ways that 10 years ago the earliest bloggers could only have imagined. This article on ColoradoPeakPolitics is a perfect example of blogging and the ability of an ordinary individual to write news that otherwise would never make it into the biased newspapers and television programs that once dominated the market.
RightOnline 2012 paid special tribute to the godfather of citizen journalism, Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart's aim was to go over and around the Mainstream Media with an army of observers who expose the truth of what goes on in culture, politics and in the workings of government. These citizen journalists, bloggers, videobloggers, and commentators are invested in the future of America because they are ordinary Americans. RightOnline has, to a large degree, fulfilled its promise of creating a conservative Internet presence that has overtaken the Left in quality, quantity, and the entertainment value of Internet reporting.
Citizen journalism is not a new concept. Professional reporters have been around for only a century or so. Citizen journalism has reemerged out of the righteous indignation of a generation of Americans who are disgusted with the lack of ethics in the Mainstream Media, and the Liberal bias that has tarnished its journalistic standards for decades.
RightOnline encourages all Americans to become citizen journalists and to contribute their observations in the form of news and commentary whenever possible. Print media and traditional news stations are on the decline. It is still important to interact with those outlets, but the New Media of the internet and social networking provides uncounted ways for the real news to get to more people at the speed of a click.
It was just a year ago that the new media of Twitter ended the career of Liberal Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner. The literal exposure of his mis-deeds would never have been possible without the army of observers that Andrew Breitbart inspired to become citizen journalists. That is the essence of the new media, and the focus of RighOnline.