MySpace, NBC recruit citizen journalists

Running a contest to find users to cover the DNC, RNC

NEW YORK -- Citizen journalists, MySpace and NBC News want you to help cover this summer's political conventions.

MySpace, NBC News and are running a contest among MySpace users for the job of covering the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. One winner will cover for MySpace's IMPACT civic/social engagement channel the DNC in late August; the other will cover the RNC in early September.

The contest is open to anyone over the age 18 who submits a short video piece answering one of these questions: "Why do you vote?" "Why are you the best person for this job?" Or "How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?" Submissions will be whittled down to five finalists by judges Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," as well as Tom Anderson and Lee Brenner of MySpace.

The five finalists will be voted on by the MySpace community, a sort of "Political Idol," if you will.

Mark Lukasiewicz, vp digital media at NBC News, hopes to find people who care about the process and who make the case that they'll be good reporters.

"In an election that has so engaged people, it's right that we try to find ways to get original voices in the conversation around politics," he said.

MySpace's Brenner said the winners will get press credentials from MySpace to cover the conventions, and their work will appear on MySpace's Decision 2008 channel and perhaps on NBC News outlets.

"We're hoping that they upload videos to the Decision '08 hub, and we're working closely with the 'Morning Joe' program," Brenner said.