Upon Andrew Breitbart’s untimely passing Rush Limbaugh said, “the country needs another 1000 more Andrew Breitbarts.” As true as this statement may be, it is safe to say that Breitbart was sui generis.
Not all of us are well-suited to build a conservative empire on the web. However, The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is coming to San Diego on March 31 with an ambitious goal nonetheless: creating local information activists and investigative reporters.
Roger Hedgecock is partnering with The Franklin Center for this “Citizen Watchdog Training.” I spoke with him last Friday about his support of this effort. He said: “People will learn how to use the technology in the social networking to hold the politicians and bureaucrats accountable.”
The speakers will include:
- James O’Keefe, Project Veritas (the information activist whose video work has exposed ACORN, NPR, teachers’ unions, and voter fraud in New Hampshire)
- David Spady, Americans for Prosperity-California
- Todd Shepherd, CompleteColorado.com (Award-winning investigative reporter in Colorado)
- Steven Greenhut, Pacific Research Institute, author of Plunder!, previously with the Orange County Register
- Jenny Erikson, Blogger and Contributor for CafeMom
Thousands of local journalists across the country have been laid off in recent years. When I spoke to Erik Telford of the Franklin Center last week, he emphasized this point and its implications. Citizens must take increasing responsibility for “equalizing the balance between citizens and the government.”
The Citizen Watchdog Training has something to offer for neophytes and established citizen journalists alike. One of the express purposes of the seminar is to introduce people to the like-minded community around them and to encourage crowdsourcing.
Topics covered will include:
- How to become an information activist
- How to use investigative reporting tools and skills
- How to make a public information request
- How to hold elected officials accountable through social media
To learn more or register: Citizen Watchdog Training
Saturday, March 31, 2012 9am-5 pm
1775 East Mission Bay Drive
San Diego 92109