Two unofficial “citizen journalists” will be plucked from the crowd and sent to the presidential nominating conventions this election season as prizes in a user-generated video contest running on MySpace and sponsored by NBC News and MSNBC.com.
The “Decision ’08 Convention Contest” asks registered MySpace users to submit two-minute video clips detailing the ways they’re the right choice for a press pass to attend either the Democratic National Convention in Denver Aug. 25-28 or the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis Sept. 1-4. Alternatively, people can use their submissions to outline the reasons why they vote or the tactics they’ll use to stand out in the press pack and run down the stories others can’t get.
Entrants can submit their videos to the Decision ’08 page at http://impact.myspace.com/decision08. The page links to MySpace’s Impact Channel, the network’s hub site for social causes and civic discussions.
Judges from NBC News and MySpace will choose five finalists from among those submissions by July 18, making their decision on content, presentation and relevance to the aim of the promotion. Five finalists will be posted to MySpace and the community will be encouraged to vote for their choice July 21 through July 28.
The two entries getting the most MySpace votes will be given the chance to attend one of the conventions and to visit the NBC media center. The winning videos or text reports will be posted on the Decision ’08 MySpace page and in the online convention coverage from MSNBC.
“As the leader in fostering user-generated content, we’re privileged to be partnering with the leader in professionally-generated news content for this exciting project,” Lee Brenner, director of Impact and executive producer of the political programming at MySpace, said in a statement.
MySpace’s Impact Channel contains the official MySpace profiles for the 2008 Presidential candidates. The Decision ’08 page on that channel will also contain news feeds and daily video content from NBC News and MSNBC.com. MSNBC will link directly to Decision ’08 page from its main Web site.
Just before the early January Iowa caucus, the MySpace Impact Channel hosted the season’s first online presidential primary. The two-day event got more than 150,000 MySpace members to vote for their early choices for president. Of those, online voters describing themselves as Democrats selected Barack Obama (46% of the vote) followed by Hillary Clinton (31%) and John Edwards (8%). Republican respondents chose Ron Paul as their candidate (37%), with Rudy Giuliani (18%) and Mike Huckabee (16%) trailing.
MySpace is a unit of Fox Interactive Media, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. That media company also owns the Fox Entertainment Group, including NBC broadcast rival the Fox News Network.