We co-hosted a panel on Social Media, Politics and Change with a coalition of local political groups including Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century, New York Young Republicans and PolicyMic.com moderated by Ari Melber of The Nation & MSNBC. Panelist include: Ron Agam, photographer and creator of social media movements; Ben Smith, writer and contributor for Politico.com; and Barnett Zitron, WhyTuesday.com & YouTube sensation.
Ari Melber is a correspondent for “The Nation” magazine, the oldest political weekly in America, a writer for the magazine’s blog, a columnist for “Politico”, and an attorney. As a commentator on public affairs, Melber frequently appears on national television, including NBC, CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, FOX News and Bloomberg News; his views have been quoted by publications such as “The Washington Post”, “The New York Times” and “Time”, among others. During the 2008 presidential election, Melber traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for “The Washington Independent”. Previously, he served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign.
Ron Agam is a French-Israeli photographer who is currently based in New York but travels widely in pursuit of his work. His photographs have been widely exhibited and published in numerous newspapers and magazines such as “Newsweek” and “Time”, as well as books in Israel, South America and the United States. In 2009, Ron Agam created the largest and most dynamic page of support for Iran on the Internet, “100 Million Facebook Members for Democracy in Iran”. People from all denominations joined his page in solidarity with the Iranian people struggling for their freedom.
Ben Smith writes a blog about national politics for “Politico”. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he covered the Democratic primary. Before joining “Politico”, he was a political columnist for the “New York Daily News” and in 2005 and 2006 started three of New York City’s leading political blogs, “The Politicker”, “The Daily Politics” and “Room Eight”, for which he still writes occasionally about the New York scene.
Barnett Zitron is a native New Yorker. He is a graduate of the Horace Mann School and New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he studied City Planning and the built environment. After completing his undergraduate education, Zitron enrolled in the Introduction to Architecture Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning, and began working at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation. Simultaneously, Zitron reinvigorated and re-launched Why Tuesday? as the nation’s premier video blog for election-related content. Zitron also serves as Executive Director of the Ultimate College Bowl, an unprecedented effort conceived by Why Tuesday? to register every eligible US college student to vote in the 2008 elections.