Scripps launches interactive forum for diverse political, cultural views

Wed, January 16, 2008 by John Temple

CINCINNATI - RedBlueAmerica, a fully interactive forum for diverse political and cultural ideas and opinion, was launched today to tap the country's intense interest in the democratic process and to encourage vigorous public discourse during the 2008 national election campaigns and beyond.

The innovative social networking site - which can be found on the Internet at RedBlueAmerica.com - was created by The E. W. Scripps Company and is designed to appeal to the significant percentage of Americans who are engaged in the political process and have a deep interest in the diversity of opinion in American society.

The site will serve as an ongoing public forum for a full array of user-generated content, including blogs, personal profiles, videos and more. While focusing at the outset on the 2008 election campaigns, RedBlueAmerica intends to provide the public with an open forum for a wide range of cultural and political views long after the votes have been counted.

RedBlueAmerica is a free online service that delivers timely political news, provides subscribers with an e-mail service and conducts a daily public opinion poll on selected topics. The site also will include a feature called "Truth or Not" that will challenge, among other things, the veracity of factual claims made by high-profile newsmakers and others.

"RedBlueAmerica.com is a place for people interested in what the other half thinks on the important and interesting issues of the day," said John Temple, founder of the Web site, and vice president of news for The E. W. Scripps Company's newspaper division.  "It's a place where they'll always find the best thinkers on their own side stacked up against the best thinkers on the other side; a place for a lively and civil conversation about the topics people are talking about - or should be talking about."

The public debate on RedBlueAmerica will be moderated by two experienced online journalists, each providing perspective on either the conservative (Red) or liberal (Blue) viewpoint.

Ben Boychuk, former managing editor of the Claremont Review of Books, an editorial writer for Investor's Business Daily and a blogger on such sites as Infinite Monkeys, will represent the "Red" side. Joel Mathis, an award-winning blogger, reporter and former managing editor for convergence at the World Company in Lawrence, Kansas - one of America's most innovative local media companies - will represent the "Blue" point of view.

"As moderators, Ben and Joel will pick the topics featured on the site and find the best writing representing their respective sides," Temple said. "They'll be involved in a constant and transparent conversation on the issues in their own blogs. But, it will be the site's users who will play the key role. They can share their thoughts on the moderators' featured topics and advise them of possible better postings, either from the RedBlueAmerica site, or from other media sources. At all times, RedBlueAmerica will be a two-way conversation."

RedBlueAmerica -- an advertising-supported Web site -- is the product of an entrepreneur fund established by the Scripps newspaper division. The fund was created to develop new content ventures that fulfill the company's journalistic mission. RedBlueAmerica was developed by pingVision of Boulder, Colo.

About Scripps

The E. W. Scripps Company (www.scripps.com) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.

The company's portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 16 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; Scripps Interactive Media, including leading online search and comparison shopping services, Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics.

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