Arianna Huffington, Obama for America New Media Department/Blue State Digital to be honored at Mirror Awards luncheon June 9

By Wendy Loughlin

May 12, 2009

Arianna Huffington will receive the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award and the Obama for America New Media Department/Blue State Digital will receive the i-3 award for impact, innovation and influence from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at the third annual Mirror Awards luncheon, to be held June 9, at 11:45 a.m. at the Harmonie Club, 4 E. 60th Street, New York City. Contessa Brewer ’96, anchor and correspondent with MSNBC, will serve as MC.

Arianna Huffington

Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of twelve books. She is also co-host of Left, Right & Center, public radio’s popular political roundtable program, and is a frequent guest on television shows such as Charlie Rose, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show.

In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that has quickly become one of the most widely-read, linked to and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. She was named to Time magazine’s “Time 100” in 2006, and as Media Person of the Year by I Want Media in 2008.

“Arianna Huffington was ahead of the curve with HuffPo,” says Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham. “She embraced the use of new media, but never forgot that no matter where or how you tell the story, content is still king. This is what we teach our students.”

Named for the late cable programming executive and Newhouse School Advisory Board chair Fred Dressler, the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a reporter, editor or publisher who has made distinct, consistent, long-term and unique contributions to the public’s understanding of the media.

Obama for America New Media Department/Blue State Digital

Led by Joe Rospars, Obama’s director of new media and founding partner of the internet strategy and technology firm Blue State Digital, the Obama for America New Media Department developed a wide-ranging program that integrated design and branding, web and video content, mass e-mail, text messaging and online advertising, organizing and fundraising, as well as a community-driven communications platform, My.BarackObama.

“The Obama campaign’s innovative and unprecedented use of the Internet and new media changed the way political campaigns are waged and most likely won Obama the election,” says Branham. “This award recognizes the transformative effect the Obama for America New Media Department and Blue State Digital have had on politics.”

Rospars will accept the award at the luncheon ceremony.

The i-3 award is given to individuals or organizations that have made a profound impact on the media landscape or have captured the public’s imagination about the potential or importance of the media in a unique way.

The Mirror Awards, established by the Newhouse School in 2006, honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit. In addition to special awards, six juried awards will be presented at the luncheon.

For more information about the awards, contact Jean Brooks at 315.443.5711 or mirror@syr.edu, or see mirrorawards.syr.edu. For press inquiries, contact Wendy Loughlin at 315.443.2785 or wsloughl@syr.edu.

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