Live Event: Social Media, Politics & Change


Ari Mel­ber, mod­er­a­tor: 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, pan­elist: 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, pan­elist: 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, pan­elist: 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.