By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Apr 24, 2007 at 2:52 PM

Blogs are changing the face of mainstream media. Every day people take to the Internet to voice opinions and join online communities. One sect of bloggers comprises citizen journalists and political blogs and they are some of the most popular on the Internet.

The evolution of blogs and the way the public goes about getting their news and commentary is forcing the mainstream and local media to adapt, and this Saturday, the Second Annual Blog Summit, held at Marquette's Law School in conjunction with, analyzes this online movement.

Mike Gousha, the former WTMJ-TV news anchor and current Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the Marquette Law School, moderates the event.

"It will feature bloggers, well-known political commentators and journalists and will look at the impact of blogging on elections, public policy and 'old' media," Gousha says. "We'll also examine legal issues raised by blogging and whether all voices are being heard in the blogosphere."

The list of panelists reads like a who's who of Wisconsin's bloggers, commentators and media. Set to participate in the discussions: Ed Garvey, Charlie Sykes, Brian Fraley, Owen Robinson, Jessica McBride, Jay Bullock, Eugene Kane and Tim Cuprisin.

Blog Summit II begins with a discussion about the effect blogging had on the 2006 campaign and what will happen with the coming 2008 campaign.

"Bloggers are changing the way political campaigns are run, how policy decisions are made and how some people get their information," Gousha says. "It's a trend that cannot be ignored."

Following the campaign questions is a panel featuring OMC Publisher Andy Tarnoff on what blogging is doing to journalism and the standard newsgathering process.

"I don't think (blogging) hinders the newsgathering process. Journalists will do what journalists do. But it has created competition for traditional media outlets," Gousha says. "The best blogs can sometimes break news and drive public opinion, roles historically played by newspapers, television and radio."

Attorney and author Jennifer L. Peterson will discuss the legalities of blogging in the next discussion followed by a panel on whether or not all voices are being heard in the blogosphere, featuring OMC bloggers Dasha Kelly and Jennifer Morales. Finally, the future of blogging, specifically in Wisconsin, will be discussed with a little audience participation by Boots and Saber's Owen Robinson ( and Folkbum's Jay Bullock (

Gousha says that Blog Summit II will be "lively, thought-provoking and fun."

Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.