In 1990, Rock the Vote was born. Soon after, Choose or Lose was created.
These MTV campaigns worked to "build the political clout and engagement of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country."
More than a decade later, Street Team '08 takes the stage.
Whereas previous campaigns relied heavily on celebrity rock and pop stars to carry their message, today MTV is capitalizing on the popularity of citizen journalism
to help them cover the 2008 elections. Fifty-one citizen journalists –- one from every state and Washington, D.C. -– have been selected to cover the 2008 elections from a youth perspective and tailor their reports for mobile devices. Members will contribute weekly, multi-media reports (short form videos, blogs, animation, photos, podcasts) that will be distributed via a soon-to-launchWAP site, MTV Mobile, Think.MTV.com and to the more than 1,800 sites in the Associated Press Online Video Network. The Street Team
boasts representation from "every aspect of today’s youth audience" and shares a variety of political views and social perspectives. However, despite their differences, they are all hopeful that their passion for politics and "a yearning to amplify the youth voice" might engage young voters to learn about campaign issues and ultimately increase voter participation.
Through various multimedia, MTV is spotlighting the Street Team '08 and the group is equipped many tools and software, provided courtesy of Adobe
, via their Adobe Youth Voices global philanthropy program.
With such an investment, I hope the Street Team '08 is able to develop their citizen journalism skills without getting lost in the technology or the hype
. I'm glad that they will be outfitted with the best tools available, but I hope they choose their medium wisely so that their message can be most effective.
While the youth of America seem more engaged with technological enterprises
than in previous year, it's important that this effort -- on account of its political undertakings -- appeal not only to the senses, but also engage and challenge minds.