Fellow Americans (such an odd phrase, isn't it?). This post signifies a paradigm shift in the use and purpose of my (personal) web site and blog (www.billyhallowell.com). Since 1999, I have been writing, appearing on-air and commenting in media about a variety of sociopolitical issues. I started at 15; I'm now 26. With time comes a need for change, no?
My work in media started directly following the tragic Columbine shooting in April 1999. Without boring you with too many details (you can find those here), I launched a web site devoted to youth issues called Teen Web Online. Teen Web tackled topics like drugs, violence, discrimination, personal image and a variety of other issues young Americans face on a daily basis.
This led directly into many wonderful experiences. Through some contacts at MTV I was offered my own column with SHiNE (a youth organization that is with us no more), which quickly evolved into opportunities to travel and speak with and to my peers. I was proud to work alongside many wonderful individuals and organizations, while learning about the inner workings of the media industry.
Following a national speaking tour, a number of youth-focused columns, the founding of my own business (Pathufind Media) and college I found myself commenting and reporting more than ever on the political process (though rewarding, this superseded my youth work). Since 2004, much of my focus has been on politics and media commentary, as you may know. Now, let's get a bit more contemporary...
As you may know, I launched an experimental online "television" show in collaboration with LiveStream back in April 2009. The show, RENEWtv, was focused on renewing the GOP (and America). In retrospect, the focus should have been on the latter (with the former serving as a mere footnote). This is not to say that I don't believe the GOP needs reforming -- it does! However, renewing our nation and making true progress, while healing its many ills, should trump party politics. Anyway, before long RENEWtv moved into another phase, which was called "RENEW Media," a project I was genuinely excited about (and one I worked extremely hard to see come to fruition).
Unfortunately, a series of circumstances within the conservative movement and some personal convictions have led me to believe that RENEW Media isn't something that will benefit society in the way I had originally envisioned. This is to say that RENEW doesn't offer anything that readers can't find anywhere else in the online sphere. My initial goal was to create something informative, unique and inevitably -- uplifting. That wasn't happening through RENEW Media, despite my initial hopes. So, I've decided to scrap the project entirely.
Rather than being a source of incessant complaints about all that is wrong with a particular political party of politician (which I've been guilty of in the past), this site (BillyHallowell.com) will serve as something more. Don't get me wrong. There's a place for viable complaints in our democracy (after all, how can we accomplish anything new if we don't pinpoint what's going wrong?), but this site will go beyond mere rants and raves.
Starting immediately, my site will feature daily analysis of news and polls, columns and plenty more. Rather than focusing primarily on politics (don't worry -- there'll still be daily political content), future content will center upon a variety of subjects. Faith, politics, social issues, public opinion, human rights...I plan to cover it all (well, almost). I want this site to be a cause to promote all that is good in America (lofty, I know), while discussing and uncovering ways in which we can make our work and our nation a better place. Thus, I'll be focusing a bit on charities and causes that are close to my heart.
To meet the aforementioned goals, I will be including content from individuals whom I respect in a number of fields and disciplines. My outside work will be restricted to a few excellent outlets like Human Events, so that I can focus my energies here. It is my hope that you will enjoy the content changes that will be unraveled in the coming weeks. Thank you for taking the time to read this diatribe (if you've made it this far).
Stay tuned for new episodes of RENEWtv (yes, the television project will be returning with its focus on "America."), excellent podcasts and daily content. I truly want to engage you in this process. Please send your thoughts, interests and questions along to billy(at)williamhallowell.com (or comment below). I look forward to hearing from you!