MTV seeks student journalist for ’08 election

MTV is looking for 51 aspiring journalists to cover the 2008 election as part of their Choose or Lose campaign. There will be one journalist chosen from each state, as well as one from Washington D.C.

According to MTV’s Web site, those wishing to apply must be 18 by December 2007 and must reside in the state that they are covering from January to November 2008.

MTV’s Choose or Lose campaign tries to mobilize young voters, inform them about the candidates, and get them to vote.
MTV first founded its Choose or Lose campaign in 1992. In 2004, it tried to mobilize 20 million young adults, aged 18-30, to vote, in what it called “20 Million Loud.”

MTV is looking for candidates who are informed about current national politics with outstanding writing and reporting skills and a unique voice or opinions that could make them stand out from a large pool of applicants.

Those selected from their states will be brought to New York City and will be given the supplies needed to work part-time as a journalist. Each journalist chosen will be responsible for composing video, and writing or photographing stories concerning the election each week. Their stories will be posted on the Internet and the best stories each week will be broadcast across the nation on MTV.

According to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, an estimated 47 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in 2004, up 11 percent from the 2000 election.

Although youth voter turnout appears to be rising, some students are skeptical of MTV’s Choose or Lose campaign.
“I’m not so sure it will help, but I do believe that youth voter turnout is a huge problem in America today,” said sophomore Rob Schubert.

Sophomore Doug Cantelmo, on the other hand, believes that this program will be successful. “Because college students live in a closed off community that is partially cut off from the outside world, they don’t always have an opportunity to watch the news and learn about national events,” he said. “Students are more likely to turn on ESPN, MTV, or The Food Network than sit and watch Wolf Blitzer for an hour. It’s important for MTV to try to bring these to our attention.”