Jacob Caggiano & Karen Weill

Submitted by thirdeYe on Tue, 01/05/2010 – 9:27pm

Session Reporter: Jacob

Conversationalist 1: Jacob

Conversationalist 2: Karen

The conversation between us immediately came to a bubble after I reminded her of where we had first met.

Roughly six years ago during the 2004 presidential election, I came to see Karen and her husband Larry talk about the action they witnessed on the streets of New York City during the RNC protests. As professional “legal witnesses” it was their job to accurately observe and be willing to testify about any unconstitutional conduct exhibited against the people by state authority figures.

During the time I attended college in Bellingham, I frequently encountered Karen and Larry in their bright green “legal witness” shirts at political events around town.

After catching up a bit, we discussed our motivations for attending the conference. I, being a young professional in between jobs, talked about my ambitions to latch on to the exciting convergence of news and civic engagement. My goals for the conference are to meet as many people as possible and gain better insight of the emerging news ecology, with the ultimate goal of finding a way to be directly involved in it’s formation.

Karen, having been around the block for bit longer, also seeks to meet some of the very talented people attending, and hopes to use her life experience and expertise in law to help the movement along. I mentioned some of the work being done by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, particularly the Citizen Media Law Project, which appears to be at the forefront of defining and shaping the new legal environment around participatory media and journalism.

We had to cut the conversation short of it’s potential, but plan on picking up where we left off in Seattle.

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