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Daily Kos is among the largest political blogs and communities on the web, with about 20 million visits per month. Its staff includes at least four full-time editors and more than a dozen contributing editors, as well as thousands of diarists who contribute to the site. Kos has spun off several other political sites, including Congress Matters, Daily Kos TV, and Street Prophets.
Kos is best known for its work in fueling political activism, particularly in the 2004 and 2006 U.S. election campaigns. Moulitsas is one of the leaders of the network of online political activism commonly called the “netroots.”
In journalism circles, Daily Kos has been recognized as a pioneer of a form of decentralized, community-led journalism sometimes called distributed journalism, open-source journalism and crowdsourcing.
Moulitsas and the site’s contributors have aggregated political information, examined large releases of government documents, interviewed political figures, and dug up political scandals. Daily Kos first reported the Jeff Gannon controversy and Sarah Palin’s connection to the Alaskan Independence Party. In 2008, Daily Kos also commissioned 155 campaign polls.
Daily Kos’ contributors also have been the source of inaccurate stories that were picked up by the mainstream political press, such as the 2008 rumor that Sarah Palin was passing her grandson off as her son.
Moulitsas has said he does not consider himself a journalist but an activist. However, Moulitsas has referred to the work of his site in journalistic terms, and he has advocated for contributors to his site to be protected by federal journalism shield law. He also has contributed to Newsweek magazine.
Bayosphere was a short-lived user-driven local news site in San Francisco. Bayosphere was launched in 2005 by former San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor and Michael Goff and received investment funding from Mitch Kapor and the Omidyar Network. Gillmor shut the site down in January 2006, and the site was bought later that year…