Tag Archives: Mayhill Fowler

OffTheBus In New York Times. Again.

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Everyone’s fave citizen journalism political project (Mine included. Heck, I might like OTB even more than that other political project I contribute to. You know, the red one colored peach that smells like a toxic waste dump…) Queen Arianna’s OffTheBus at HuffPo is getting some serious MSM attention… AND contributors by the thousands. From the NYT, 7-23:

OffTheBus.net, the online citizen-journalist arm of the Huffington Post, celebrates its one-year anniversary this month.

Of all the new political, non-candidate sites to spring up during the last year, OTB is now probably the biggest, with 7,500 citizen correspondents. Through its growing pains, it continues to develop the technological and organizational know-how to become a force in journalism even as it challenges the standard notions of traditional journalism.

We have been charting the site’s progress throughout the campaign, with a report in October about its start-up and an interview in April with Mayhill Fowler, the correspondent who gained notoriety after reporting Senator Barack Obama’s “bitter” comments from a closed fund-raiser.

The site has evolved in several different ways. Perhaps most strikingly, OTB’s total of 7,500 citizen correspondents is up from 300 a year ago. Arianna Huffington, who helped found OTB, attributes the dramatic rise to the buzz created by Ms. Fowler’s two big scoops, first the Obama comments, then in early June when Bill Clinton lashed out at a Vanity Fair writer.

The scoops created news and also prompted intense self-reflection among traditional journalists (it’s all about us!). Had Ms. Fowler successfully pushed the envelope for campaign reporting? Or had she so fractured the rules that she set journalism back? Either way, she has become a rainmaker for OTB, the modern-day equivalent of Woodward and Bernstein inspiring hundreds of young cubs to become investigative journalists.

“The numbers started going up with Mayhill, then they accelerated,” Ms. Huffington said. “She became the poster child for ordinary citizens being able to impact the campaign.”

Full story here. My OTB video contributions/work here. Get fired up!!! Contribute yourself to OTB!!!!

Citizen Journalist for Off The Bus Broke Big Campaign News

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Mayhill Fowler, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post’s Off The Bus citizen journalism project, broke some big-time news over the course of the Presidential primary season. From today’s LATimes:

Tim Russert, Katie Couric or Larry King eventually may deliver telling blows of their own, but score Round 1 in the contest to extract the most provocative presidential campaign quotes to . . . Mayhill Fowler?

The 61-year-old self-described “failed writer” and amateur Web journalist helped create two of the most unexpected moments in the 2008 election — most recently on Monday, when she recorded former President Clinton’s fiery denunciation (“slimy,” “dishonest”) of Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum.

That scoop came six weeks after Fowler rocked the Democratic race for president by reporting (from a “closed press” fundraiser in San Francisco) Barack Obama’s now infamous discussion of “bitter” small-town Americans who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”

Full story here. Local video contributors to the Off The Bus project include Shelby Highsmith and me.