Capitol Hill Blue founder and publisher Doug Thompson returns to writing about politics and the hypocrisy of government, as well as the day-to-day supervision of the oldest political news web site on the Internet, on Monday, August 5, 2013.
Although his return is not fully authorized by the doctors who have supervised his recovery from a near-fatal motorcycle accident on November 9, 2012 that left him with multiple broken bones, a dislocated eye, facial damage and traumatic brain injury, he feels that he needs to return to writing and move forward.
“At the time of my motorcycle accident, I was attempting to bring Capitol Hill Blue back to the prominence it had on the Internet in 2006 when my attention was diverted by my needs to become the principal provider for my ailing mother,” he said. “For the five years following that diversion, both traffic and, I feel, the quality of the site suffered. Although a number of dedicated people have worked to keep Capitol Hill Blue running, it needs the personal attention of the man who founded it and provided the philosophy.”
In making the decision Friday to return, Thompson asked readers of Capitol Hill Blue to help him as he tries to rebuild and refocus the web site in the coming months and years.
“Capitol Hill Blue will celebrate its 19th year on the web on October 1,” he said. “We have been around for a long time and I plan to celebrate 20 years in 2014.”
His plans include a redesign of the web site and an increase of articles by Capitol Hill Blue staff.
“We are not here just to reprint articles from wire services,” he said. “Our goal is to provide coverage that other news sites overlook or misinterpret.”
Thompson brings 50 years of journalism experience to the Internet. He went to work for the weekly in his home town of Floyd, Virginia, as a high school student in 1963, became the youngest full-time reporter for the daily Roanoke Times in 1965, went on to The Alton Telegraph in Illinois from 1969-1981, and spent 23 years in Washington working first as a Capitol Hill jobs that included press secretary, chief of staff and special assistant to the ranking member of the House Committee of Science and Technology.
From 1987-92, Thompson ran the political funding operations of The National Association of Realtors as Vice President for Political Programs. He later served as Senior Communications Associate for The Eddie Mahe Company but journalism remained his love and he returned to contract and free-lance work as both a writer and photographer for newspapers, wire services and magazines.
In 2004, Thompson and his wife left Washington and moved to his childhood hometown of Floyd, Virginia, where he continued to work in journalism and concentrate on Internet projects. He currently is a contract reporter-photographer for BH Media, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, and also works as a free-lance videographer for television stations in Virginia and North Carolina.
“Technically, I’m semi-retired,” he said. “But the five-year detour to take care of my mother requires my return to a heavier work schedule to help rebuild the resources that were depleted by the cost of her final years. That return was delayed by the motorcycle accident last November but I need to, and must, return to rebuilding our lives and projects like Capitol Hill Blue.
Ironically, when he crashed his motorcycle late on a Friday night on a dark road on U.S. 221 south of Roanoke, Virginia, he was returning from photographing a high school state championship football game for a BH Media newspaper.
“I am a newspaperman,” he said. “That is what I was born to do and it is time I returned to producing news for both print and the web.”