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Covering the DNC -- Front Row and Backstage, Too

New America Media / New England Ethnic News, Blog, Eduardo de Oliveira Posted: Aug 24, 2008

Editor's Note: Eduardo de Oliveira of New England Ethnic News heads off to Denver soon -- thanks to New America Media -- to cover the Democratic National Convention, Aug. 25-28, 2008. He and nine other NAM-sponsored ethnic-media journalists will blog and report on the DNC for electorates of color across the country. "For the first time, Latinos and immigrants in general can [have] a bigger role in selecting the next president of the United States," he says. This is his first blog.

In one way or another, Ive been attending classes in U.S. politics my entire life, even in my native Brazil.

There, back in 1992, I studied the remote images of then-Gov. Bill Clinton saying, He [then-Pres. George H. Bush] cant battle me on the economy.

Sure, those were just long-distance classes. But the wait was worth it!

Now, thanks to the sponsorship of California-based New America Media, a nonprofit online newswire of ethnic media, I have the opportunity to cover the Democratic National Convention, on-site in Denver for New England Ethnic News (EthnicNEWz.org).

Ill exchange the back seat - where the coolest political geeks always hide - to get front-row excitement.

As a journalist for ethnic media, I won't be alone. New America Media is sponsoring nine other journalists from the ethnic press, from all across the United States.

On Aug. 24, they will join me in Denver, Colo., to cover the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

For some political pundits in the mainstream, the presidential elections are all about math. For me, its more about history, since Sen. Barack Obama will be the first African American to clinch the presidential nomination.

Thats where ethnic media - my nine fellow journalists and me - play a part. Sen. Obamas words and promises will be captured by our ethnic lenses.

From the role of Muslims in Obamas campaign, to the contributions of Asian Americans, nothing will escape the ethnic news crews.

As Anthony Advincula, an editor with New America Media, said, Were betting all of our chips on you 10 [ethnic-media journalists at the DNC]. This is the perfect convention for the minority electorate.

Regrettably, the Republican National Convention did not respond to the press credential requests by New America Media. As of now, our group of ethnic journalists will not be able to cover the RNC.

Still, when the DNC chair calls for a simple voice vote, All in favor say Aye, Ill be backstage, asking people how important the minority vote is for Democrats.

More than 80,000 people have confirmed their attendance for the last night of the DNC, on Aug. 28, when Obama will accept the nomination.

The vast majority of 17,000 hotel rooms in the Denver area are booked already. About 21,000 people will volunteer to manage one of the biggest political events in the country, hosting 300 foreign dignitaries invited by the National Democratic Institute.

The media frenzy will be complete; there will be more persons from the press (15,000) than delegates (6,000).

Denver, the 20th-largest metropolitan area in America, will host its second Democratic National Convention exactly 100 years after its first.

I promise to be your eyes and ears in Denver.

Read Eduardo A. de Oliveira's latest blog -- in English and Portuguese -- at EthnicNEWz.org.

About Eduardo A. de Oliveira

Eduardo A. de Oliveira is a 34-year-old Brazilian journalist based in Nashua, New Hampshire. In 2007, Oliveira co-founded and edited The Brazilian Journal, a Portuguese-language bilingual weekly specializing in local news for Brazilians in Massachusetts.

During an interview with Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-NY) for the Nashua Telegraph, a mainstream daily newspaper based in southern New Hampshire, one of Oliveiras questions became the subject of a later nationally-televised presidential debate. His question to Clinton: Are you in favor of granting drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants in your state? which the late Tim Russert revisited on national TV.

In January 2008, Oliveira left the Brazilian Journal to join the New England Ethnic Newswire (www.EthnicNEWz.org) as a health reporter. Oliveira also works as an investigative radio reporter for WSRO (650 AM) in Framingham, Mass., a Portuguese-language radio station.

In 2007, Hispanic News Media honored Oliveira as one of the 100 most influential persons for the Latino community of Massachusetts.

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