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TWI Boards Campaign Plane

WASHINGTON — The national news Web site, The Washington Independent, jetted to the Midwest this week. Its senior political reporter, Sridhar Pappu, boarded Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign plane on Sunday. TWI will continue covering the election from the campaign trail — and the air — joining the press corps on both Obama’s and Sen. John McCain’s charters.

This spring, only five newspapers were on the campaign planes regularly — The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, as well as wire services and TV networks.* Now, TWI joins the group.

TWI is a non-partisan, independent news site dedicated to putting national news in context.

In Pappu’s first dispatch from the road (online here ), he explains that Obama needs Michigan voters as much as thousands of his roaring fans in Detroit say they need him. Pappu will be using new media tools, filing video footage — his first piece from the Obama plane is here — and blog posts daily.

Despite the expense, TWI’s editor Allison Silver, former editor of The Los Angeles Times Sunday "Opinion" section, says it is critical for readers to get first-hand news about the presidential race.

"This is unlike any election in decades," Silver said. "We have been on the most amazing roller-coaster ride. The turnout and twists and turns have been jaw-dropping. We need smart reporters out in the field to give some context and help explain what it all means."

TWI launched in January 2008 under the direction of Silver, who is a former editor at The New York Times "Week in Review" and former politics producer at "Charlie Rose." Politics reporter Sridhar Pappu wrote for The Washington Post, The Atlantic and The New York Observer.

Close campaign coverage helps to detail inconsistencies and can reveal much about a candidate’s character. The New York Times wrote a smart piece about it here.

TWI is published by the non-partisan, non-profit Center for Independent Media.

Contacts:

Allison Silver

Editor

(202) 387-3670 ex 229

Laura McGann

Managing Editor

(202) 387-3670 ex 228

*As reported by The New York Times in March.

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