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MySpace, NBC News and to recruit citizen journalists for US election

Staff (MySpace) - 26 June 2008


Popular social networking site MySpace and premier news names NBC news and have teamed up to launch a new competition to recruit two ‘citizen journalists’ to cover the 2008 United States presidential election.  They will report whether Barack Obama or John McCain will become the next US president directly to the MySpace and community.

The competition, entitled ‘Decision ’08 Convention’ calls for MySpace users in the US over 18 to film a two minute video that answers one of three questions:

  • “Why do you vote?”
  • “Why are you the best person for this job?”
  • “How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?”

The winners, as voted by the MySpace community will be awarded a trip to either the Republican National Convention (RNC) or the Democratic National Convention (DNC) respectively to cover the election, being held on 04 November 2008.  The two winners will visit the NBC News media centre with their reports (both text and video based) featured on the Decision ‘08 community and in MSNBC’s convention coverage.

 It is a key feature of MySpace’s IMPACTchannel, a hub on the social network that is geared towards civic and social engagement.

Lee Brenner, Director of IMPACT and executive producer of political programming at MySpace comments, “MySpace is a significant forum for political discussion today and we’re empowering MySpace users with a unique opportunity to express themselves from the most important political events of the summer.”

The selection process is divided into two phases.  A panel of judges from MySpace and NBC news will first narrow down submissions to five finalists.  The MySpace community will then vote for the two winners of their choice, one of whom shall cover the RNC to be held in Minnesota, whilst the other will report on the DNC in Denver, Colorado.

Mark Lukasiewicz, vice president of digital media at NBC News, feels that the project will add an insightful first-hand account of the election on a peer-to-peer (P2P) level.  He comments, “The ‘Decision ‘08 Convention Contest’ will give everyone in the MySpace community and all of’s users the chance to experience the political process first-hand, and share that experience with their peers during this crucial election.”

MySpace’s IMPACT Channel hosts the official MySpace profiles for the 2008 Presidential candidates and provides tools to enable voter registration, fundraising, and volunteering. The first MySpace Presidential Primary took place on the Impact Channel on 01 and 02 January 2008.  More than 150,000 MySpace users voiced their choice for the nation’s highest office on this occasion.

The IMPACT Channel also enables its users to access NBC News and content, as well as interact with their anchors and reporters throughout the election season. This accessibility is reciprocal with, which integrates Decision ‘08 into its own Politics home page, thus providing access to user-generated content from the MySpace community.

The competition opens today, 26 June at 15:00 EDT.  Entrants have until Wednesday, 16 July at 15:00 EDT to upload their video to the Decision ’08 page.

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