Do you even liberty bro?
MADISON, Wisc., June 9, 2013 ― Combining many passions into a meaningful, productive career can be a challenge. A man currently conquering that challenge is Austin Petersen, the Director of Production at FreedomWorks. There, he harnesses his artistic talent and libertarian zeal to produce videos, commercials, and event photography. He is also hard at work preparing the FreedomWorks University courses that will be debuting in the near future. Among others, the courses will feature Peter Schiff, Jeffrey Tucker, Steve Horwitz, and Judge Andrew Napolitano.
Prior to joining FreedomWorks, Petersen produced Judge Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch on Fox Business. He also operates Stonegait Pictures, an LLC under which he does portrait photography, media training, public lectures, and video interviews for private clients.
Petersen is also the executive producer of Alongside Night, a film based on the novel of the same name by J. Neil Schulman. Steeped in themes of agorism, the plot tells the story of what can happen when government destroys a currency and outlaws the use of gold. It premieres this month.
Joseph S. Diedrich: Describe your experiences with Judge Napolitano and Freedom Watch.
Austin Petersen: Judge Napolitano and I met when he was video podcasting the show Freedom Watch from Fox’s Strategy Room in 2008. I was working at the Libertarian National Committee at the time and pioneered a social media campaign that drove immense amounts of traffic to the show and eventually helped lead to it being picked up. Because of this effort I was the first one to be hired as the Judge’s producer.
It was extremely exciting to be a part of a libertarian show that had a major impact on the news cycle. Because of our reporting, we were able to influence policy and newsmakers on a daily basis. It was even reported that Republican legislators in 2010 were so terrified of the Judge’s hammer that it was giving the moderates in the party a stronger backbone against raising the debt ceiling. That’s powerful and it taught me how important quality journalism aimed at government transparency and accountability is to a healthy republic.
JSD: You are also the editor of The Libertarian Republic. Share a bit about your news magazine.
AP: The Libertarian Republic is a news magazine venture that started as a personal blog, but has grown to incorporate new voices and contributors from across the spectrum. It’s been exciting to watch the website turn from a single page with op-eds to now having several different news sections devoted to separate topics of interest to liberty lovers.
JSD: You graduated with a fine arts degree. What was your focus?
AP: My focus was on the performance arts, specifically musical theatre. My background in the arts started at an early age and continues into adulthood. While in college I authored two different plays, and produced both in New York City. When I was in college, I took an honors creative writing class. My professor brought me into his office and asked, “If you could build a memorial to 9/11, what would you build?” “I guess I would write a play.” I wrote a short play based on the events of 9/11 called “Phoenix Down.” It won Samuel French’s Critics Choice award. It was then I decided to pursue the arts in New York post graduation.