Democrats: Bloggers will change Denver convention |

Democrats: Bloggers will change Denver convention

George Merritt
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Democrats planning their 2008 convention in Denver said Tuesday that bloggers working alongside traditional journalists will change the way the event is reported.

Leah Daughtry, chief executive officer for the event, said the presence of bloggers means the August event will be covered “in groundbreaking ways.”

Daughtry met with about 400 reporters, bloggers, camera operators and others who were scoping out the Pepsi Center, the downtown arena where the convention will be held.

Daughtry said Democrats want the convention give Americans a clear picture of what they stand for and how they differ from Republicans.

“What we really want to do is produce a convention that will introduce us in a new way to the American people,” she said.

But Ricky Kirshner, an Emmy-winning television producer hired to help stage the event, acknowledged that controlling the message could be difficult compared to regular television fare, where the producer controls the cameras.

“But here, we are putting on a live show and counting on the networks, the locals, the bloggers to get our message out,” said Kirshner, who also produced the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Democratic conventions.

He won his third Emmy this year for the 2006 broadcast of the Tony Awards and produced the 2007 Super Bowl Half Time Show starring Prince, which has been nominated for an Emmy.

The Aug. 25-28 convention is expected to bring more than 35,000 people to Denver, including delegates, party officials, journalists and others.

Cameron Moody, a member of the Democratic National Convention Committee, said he expects the event to run smoothly.

“Denver is a great city, logistically, to run a convention, and the Pepsi Center is a superior facility.”

The privately owned arena is normally the home of the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and an arena football team.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was to meet Tuesday with the journalists who came to look over the arena.

A group called Recreate 68, which bills itself as an umbrella organization for convention protesters, planned to greet reporters and bloggers outside the arena with what spokesman Glenn Spagnuolo called a “reality check.”

“The only people that are happy about this being in Denver are the Democratic politicians,” Spagnuolo said. “The people that actually live here could care less about the Democrats spending $50 million on what is essentially a big party.”

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