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Longtime iReporter W.J. O'Reilly knows a thing or two about the intersection of citizen journalism and media. Back when social media was in its infancy, this Massachusetts-bred commentator was the host of one of the very first news programs that featured social media submissions. And to top it off, he’s a great conversationalist.
Teacher, writer and journalist, O’Reilly is this week’s pick for iReport Pundit of the Week.
Affiliation: "I believe I’m still registered as a Democrat. For quite a while, I was an Independent, but I decided to formalize that based on how I was voting. I call myself a ‘Massachusetts Democrat’ no matter where I’m living because that’s kinda the quality of Democrat I am. I can’t get away from it."
How did you first get interested in politics?
"I did go to journalism school, so we had to have a certain awareness and restraint about things like that. Honestly though, it wasn’t until I encountered iReport back in the 2008 election when I really started to see that there was a platform out there to broadcast your ideas.
"So, I allowed myself to formulate some political opinions and used iReport to get my thoughts out there. It’s great! It’s an exciting and wonderful opportunity."
Why do you share your opinion with iReport?
"I think it’s an amazing opportunity to engage with many other people on ideas that really matter a great deal. It’s a chance to clarify your own views, to sharpen your ability to communicate, and to actively and dramatically make a difference in this very impersonal world we live in. This is one opportunity we have as citizen-journalists to use the media to put our ideas out there to the general public."
Who is your political or journalistic hero?
"David Halberstam, he died a couple years ago. He was a contributing editor at 'More,' the media magazine. I had my first-ever piece published there while I was still in journalism school."
What do you think is going to be the defining issue of the 2012 election?
"The ability for the candidates to be authentic. The more authentic of the two is going to win. I see this as a political jousting match of almost pure attitude: Who projects certainty, credibility and connectedness.
"The only sticking point I would say is going to be health care. ... I don’t think these health care companies should have any more influence than the abusive levels of power they already do. Obama's health care law is just going to throw billions more dollars their way. It’s going to embolden them to ratchet up their prices and take advantage of all of us."
What’s something unique about you that people might be interested to know?
"The very first live news broadcast that used social media was a program called ‘NewzViewz,’ which I was the host of in 2005. We went out really rapidly on it before anyone had a chance to do it, so we could claim we were the first. Then, of course, every other network jumped on the idea. I was the host of the very first live, studio-produced nightly news program that went out over the web and used social media to take the temperature of the audience.
"We would have a panel of just regular people who would come on and talk about the events of the day that would be voted on on our website. When iReport started happening, I said wow, this is being done really well. It was a completion of something that I helped bring into this world, in a way."
If you'd like to see some of O'Reilly's regular and incisive video commentary, you can follow along here on iReport. And if you're looking to get in on the conversation, or join the newly-launched 2012 iReport Debate, there's never been a better time than right now.
How can you be a "Massachusetts Democrat" and NOT support President Obama's Healthcare Reform Bill? I understand the hesitation about the power that Insurance Companies now have, but one would think that regardless of it's imperfections, that we still need this legislation for the millions who would otherwise not have coverage. It's better than what the Republicans would have us doing, which is NOTHING.
I totally agree with O'reilly abou the health care reform
I spend a lot of time in Europe and especially Italy where my parents are and I witness everyday the waste of money that our social healthcare creates.
Just to clarify
-I totally support nationalized healthcarelike Britain's,Japan's or Canada's. I am not
a fan of forcing the masses to buy health insurance.
Had I lived in Massachusetts during Romney's campaign for governor, I most certainly not have voted for him. This model of forcing people to buy health insurance is Romney's wonderful idea.
You learned your lessons well in the journalism training you received. But suspect perhaps. Many, if not most journalism schools orientation is to train future journalists to promote the teaching their readers to adapt liberal political philosophies. If the students hope for an excellent grade and good employment opportunity they best abide by the liberal political reporting techniques they receive at their journalism school.
Congrats on being Pundit of the Week!
Sometimes we agree, but more often we don't see eye to eye, but debate and discussion helps us all to better informed and better able to make decisions.
I REPORT, NEW, MY SYSTEM FLIPING TO HERE
HERE IS THE NEWS WORTHY STORY
POLITICAL ASSYLUM, CITIZEN SOUGHT TO BE KILLED/MAIMED IN USA BY UNKNOWN GROUP KNOWN TO DEPT OF DEFENSE NO NAMES LEGAL
ADDED DISCUSSION, WITH BIN LADEN, HILARY CLINTON GROUP 'UNKNOWN OF DEPT OF DEFENSE' ARE TRYING TO MAIME AND KILL A PERSON IN THE UNITED STATES THRU ELECTRONIC DEVICES' I WILL FOLLOW HER, SHE IS TRYING TO LEAVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR HER LIFE AND HER LIFE OF HER BROTHERS. FOMERLY, SHE WAS AN ARMY EXPERIMENTAL LAB RAT, FT DIX, NO KNOWLEDGE NO CONSENT, SHE IS BEING USED AGAIN, 'USA BETRAYED HER', SHE WILL BE WEARING ON HER BACK PACK BLOODY TENNIS SHOES SHE WAS DENIED HEALTH CARE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE UNKNOWN GROUP IS KNOWN TO OBAMA AND PRESIDENT BUSH, IN HER EARLIER YEARS SHE KNEW GEORGE W. BUSH 1970S., HOPEFULLY, SHE WILL MAKE IT TO BALTIMORE WASHINGTON AIRPORT, IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, TO MAKE 'HER SAFETY FLIGHT TO RUSSIAN FEDERATION OF STATES FOR HER LIFE' USA IS TRYING TO KILL HER AND MAIME HER. LAST NAME IS HANDFIELD, MARION. FEMALE. I WILL TRY TO GET PICTURE OF THE BACK PACK AT BWI, FRIDAY APRIL 28, 2012, SHE IS CHASED BY THIS UNKNOWN GROUP FOR YEARS, 24/7 ALL YEAR, THEY STEAL ALL FROM HER, AND ALL IDENTIFICATION CARDS, MONIES, ETC., DEPT OF DEFENSE WANTS HER, WHY? NO ONE KNOWS., SHE STATED "DICTATED/FORCED/COHERSED/HARMED/KILLED IN USA'. IT IS NOT SAFE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. SHE IS LEGAL SHE KNOWS HER PERPATRATORS, SHE WILL TELL ALL IN RUSSIA. TRY TO GET HER PICTURE. MS. HILARY CLINTON STRIKES AGAIN, LIKE BIN LADEN. DO TO OTHERS THINGS NO ONE WANTS TO KNOW., SHE DID NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS. XENA IN THE FEDERATION OF STATES (RUSSIAN) CITIZENSHIP/POLITICAL ASSYLUM KNOW OF THE SITUATION.
THIS IS POLITICAL ASSYLUM FOR HER LIFE.
Mitt flip flop romney didn't save Detroit why? is he saying he did. Obama is the reason for the G.M success and come back. oh why is the republicans taking school programs like Track, Basketball and after schools programs out of the schools. INDEPENDENT for OBAMA 2012 1st time voter
Ready, 39, was the leader of a group of armed civilians that patrols Arizona’s desert near the Mexican border for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.
In one of the 911 calls, Ready’s girlfriend is heard saying in a raised voice: “Oh my God. He’s got a gun. No!” before the sounds of two shots.
In another call, a sobbing young woman tells a 911 dispatcher that “my mom and my niece and my sister are all on the floor. They’re hurt pretty bad.”
Asked by the dispatcher about the shooter, the woman said: “It’s my mom’s boyfriend, JT Ready.”
Besides Ready, Gilbert police have identified the victims as Lisa Lynn Mederos, 47, Ready’s girlfriend; Lisa’s daughter Amber Mederos, 23; Amber’s 15-month-old daughter, Lilly; and Amber’s boyfriend Jim “Jambob” Hiott, 24.
Police released some of the 911 calls Monday.
Min.Man Kills 4 in Arizona Goggle it