August 25, 2008

Mainstream, Big Tent: All Here Thousands Set to Televise, Blog, Write DNC Story

The Democratic National Convention will attract about 15,000 members of the media, all working to document the historic event. Here's a guide to watching those who will be watching Denver:

Network news

Major talent from the three major commercial networks, public television and three cable news outlets will work the DNC.

NBC will feature such names as Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw and Andrea Mitchell appearing on studio-oriented news programs. They will occasionally join MSNBC's Keith Olbermann (Countdown) and Chris Matthews (Hardball) outside Union Station. Morning Joe (Joe Scarborough) will be serving up political opinions from Sam's No. 3 Bar and Grill. Also on hand: Today's Matt Lauer.

The spotlight will shine on 22-year-old Luke Russert, son of the late Tim Russert. He will be a correspondent at large.

ABC's lineup includes World News anchor Charles Gibson, Good Morning America anchors Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, This Week's George Stephanopoulos and Nightline's Terry Moran.

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, Jeff Greenfield, Harry Smith and Bob Schieffer, longtime network political reporter and Face the Nation moderator, will lead CBS' contingent.

PBS, offering the closest thing to gavel-to-gavel coverage, features Jim Lehrer anchoring The NewsHour starting Monday.

Fox News' lineup includes Brit Hume, Denver native Jon Scott and talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes. And since Olbermann will be here, arch-rival Bill O'Reilly will be opposing him at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

CNN will be represented by a host of anchors and reporters, including Wolf Blitzer, John King, Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Candy Crowley.

Dusty Saunders


Expect a wealth of "entertainment" coverage from networks and cable outlets. Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart will broadcast from the University of Denver campus throughout the week, while The Tonight Show will likely be represented by comedian Mo Rocca.

Late Night With Conan O'Brien says it will not have a presence at the convention, but don't be surprised if Triumph the Insult Comic Dog makes an appearance. CBS' Late Show With David Letterman plans to have a correspondent in Denver.

Black Entertainment Television also plans an extensive presence in Denver, including daily episodes of its show 106 and Park and installments of a new news program called The Truth With Jeff Johnson.

MTV News and its Street Team '08 of five citizen journalists also will be reporting from the convention, with an emphasis on issues of concern to younger voters.

Mike Pearson


Dozens of U.S. dailies, magazines and news agencies are coming to town to cover the DNC, including the usual suspects - USA Today, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Reuters, Time and Newsweek.

Partnering with Google, Vanity Fair will host its first party during the closing nights of the Democratic and Republican conventions, according to the Aug. 14 Advertising Age. The rabble- rousing Mother Jones magazine has a 10-by-10-foot spot to work out of, as well.

Five media outlets plan to publish local print editions while they're here, including The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, The Hill and Roll Call, according to AdAge.

Julie Poppen

Foreign press

The Russians are coming. So are the British, the Italians, the French, the Israelis, the Japanese, the Icelanders, the Cubans and several African nations.

Although the convention organizing committee declined to release specifics, the foreign press clearly will take an active interest in the convention, with an estimated 130 countries asking for credentials. African nations especially will be curious about the fortunes of Barack Obama.

About 15,000 domestic and foreign journalists are expected to be in town, including Radio & TV Marti from Cuba, Agence France Presse, Britain's Reuters news service and Japan's daily Yomiuri Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun.

Mike Pearson


Bloggers aren't taking over the coverage of the DNC from traditional media, but they are changing the landscape.

The DNC Committee alone credentialed 120 progressive blogs, including one from every state. That's just a small slice of the online community that will make its presence felt.

The Big Tent at 1536 Wynkoop St., co-hosted by the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and the blog Daily Kos, will be the hub for more than 500 bloggers and new media members.

Sponsors include Google and the content-sharing site Digg, and planned activities in the 8,000-square-foot, two-story structure range from yoga and facials (thanks to the Huffington Post's "Oasis" lounge) to panel discussions about energy policy and the challenges of change.

Aaron Nelson, a project director for the nonprofit Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, said the Big Tent received more than 3,000 requests for blogger credentials but could grant only a portion of them because of fire codes.

A number of conservative blogs will be represented, including and the Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog, which debuted in January.

Jeff Smith

Originally published by Rocky Mountain News.

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