An Oakland-based video and film producer, cinematographer and editor has been chosen as a member of MTV’s “Street Team’08,” a group of 51 citizen journalists — one from each state and Washington, D.C. — who’ll cover the 2008 elections from a youth perspective and tailor their reports for mobile devices.
Part of MTV’s Emmy-winning “Choose or Lose” campaign, the Street Team will contribute weekly, multi-media reports — short-form videos, blogs, animation, photos, podcasts, and so on — to be distributed via a soon-to-launch site, MTV Mobile, Think.MTV.com and to the more than 1,800 sites in the Associated Press Online Video Network. Team members, chosen after an extensive nationwide search, will be armed with mobile media like laptops, video cameras and cell phones, and charged with uncovering the untold political stories that matter most to young people in their respective states.
“Street Team ‘08” members represent every aspect of today’s youth audience – from seasoned student newspaper journalists to documentary filmmakers, the children of once-illegal immigrants to community organizers. They are conservative, liberal, from big cities and small towns. The tie that binds them all is a passion for politics and a yearning to amplify the youth voice during this pivotal election. All of the “Street Team ’08” correspondents will begin reporting early next month, after an intensive MTV News orientation in New York City.
“Recent MTV research shows young people believe their generation will be a major force in determining who is elected in the upcoming local and national elections,” said Ian Rowe, VP of Public Affairs and Strategic Partnership, MTV, “and Street Team ’08 will be a key way for our audience to connect with peers, as well as get informed and engaged on the local and political issues that matter to them most. We’re proud to join with the Knight Foundation on this innovative experiment – which will also explore how coverage of youth-centric election issues can be an effective pathway to increased youth voter turnout and greater political and civic engagement.”
The “Street Team ’08” program is made possible by a $700,000 Knight News Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight News Challenge, at www.newschallenge.org, is an annual worldwide competition awarding $5 million for innovative ideas that use digital media to inform and inspire communities. The Knight Foundation plans to invest at least $25 million over five years in the search for bold community news experiments.