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Interview and video by Suzannah B. Troy
Video by Suzannah B. Troy | New York | February 20th 2009 | 3.20 min

SUZANNAH B. TROY: My passionate letters have been published in The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Crain's, 9 in The New York Times, letter of the week "Carbon Copy" The Village Voice, The New York Post, The NY Daily News, Newsday, The Jerusalem Post, AM New York, Metro

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ABOUT SUZANNAH B. TROY: She is a New York City-based artist, activist, and citizen journalist whose prolific body of YouTube videos have drawn immense controversy, including possible censorship.

Artistic career: A multi-media artist (in print and on the web), Troy created a poster that she donated to the New-York Historical Society. She has also used the popular video sharing website YouTube as a platform to broadcast original videos.

Activism: A fervent believer in term limits for politicians, Troy has been a vocal critic of members of the New York City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who are running in November 2009 for a controversial third term in office. "Ms. Troy speaks straight to the camera in videos, usually a minute long, that feature little more than her face, shoulder-length hair and background noise from whatever café she films from."

Citizen Journalist: In many of her blog postings and YouTube videos, Troy has reported made the observation that the mainstream media has not reported or emphasized political scandals, news stories, or investigations about the governments of New York City and New York State. Consequently, Troy has used her blogs and YouTube account to collect and report news and information, to try to create increased transparency in government. Troy has also had several letters to the editors published in major newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She has either remarked on news stories about the arts that have been published in previous editions of newspapers, or she commented on current events, such as the controversial firehouse closings in New York City.

Blogging: Troy publishes or contributes to several blogs using the Blogger service. Aside from her political and artistic blogs, Troy also films, edits, and produces videos that she posts onto YouTube; many of these videos are political in nature. In her original journalistic YouTube videos, Troy has interviewed such important politicians and notable citizen-activists as Henry Stern, a former New York City Councilmember and former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as Clayton Patterson, a New York City artist and photographer. As of September 2010, her body of YouTube videos have been viewed more than 200,000 times.

Mobile computing: Troy has used Mobile computing, such as Smartphones, to be able to create live videos during political events and post them from the street directly onto YouTube. By using Mobile technology, Troy has reported news events over the Internet almost instantaneously. One such example of her use of mobile computing was a series of YouTube videos Troy created outside a debate for New York City Council on August 13, 2009, where Troy used an iPhone to report about controversial activities used by New York University and The Villager newspaper to limit the size of the debate audience. The Huffington Post later reported that, "NYU security closed the doors, barring dozens of people in line from entry, including several credentialed members of the press." The Huffington Post reported that activists, "many equipped with iPhones and video cameras," helped to get a wheelchair-bound man into the debate, in spite of the controversial audience limitations

Media reaction: On October 2008, one of Troy's YouTube videos was mentioned in The New York Observer newspaper. Other times, Troy's activism has been reported about by other media companies. On January 1, 2010, Richard H. Cohen, who contributes photographs and images to the Corbis news service, photographed Troy at a one-woman protest of the swearing-in ceremony of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Censorship: From September 22 through September 23, 2009, one of Troy's primary platforms, her YouTube account, was suspended by YouTube. After the intervention of New York City-bloggers and legal advisers, including attorney Norman Siegel, Troy's YouTube account, which included over 300 videos, was restored.