CU alum covers elections
What’s a typical day in the life of Trevor Martin?
Well the truth is, there isn’t one.
As one of 51 citizen journalists covering the 2008 election season for MTV, Martin said his assignment is to pursue any election-related issue in Colorado that he deems interesting and pertinent to the networks’ target audience of 16 to 30 year-olds.
“It always changes, I cover whatever comes across,” Martin, 23, said of his job which is part of MTV’s “Choose or Lose ’08” campaign.
So far, Martin, who graduated from the University of Colorado in December, said he has covered environmental and immigration issues and is looking forward to covering congressional debates as well as the Democratic National Convention which will be hosted in Denver in August.
For Martin and fellow journalists, reporting on issues in their state means more than just jotting down notes with a pen and notepad. Instead, Martin said, he blogs, vlogs (video blogs) and broadcasts about the issues he covers.
This type of internet-oriented issue coverage is the direction new media is headed, Martin said
Journalism Professor Elizabeth Skewes said that although she doesn’t see the importance of CNN or the New York Times waning anytime soon, she does think people like Martin are important in reaching young voters.
“Trevor is increasing people’s ability to become informed, which is always a good thing,” Skewes said. “Certainly for younger audiences, older technology isn’t working to get them engaged.”
Martin voiced a similar view of technology’s role in the lives of younger generations.
“We turn on the computer, we don’t necessarily turn on the TV,” Martin said. “That’s what our generation does.”
Patrick Travers, a senior chemical engineering major, said he gets most of This news online from news Web sites like BBC.com.
“It’s convenient,” Travers said. “When I’m bored online I just go and look up news.”
The job description of MTV’s citizen journalists is also very untraditional because it encourages them to abandon stark objectivity in favor of reporting on issues as they see them, according to Martin.
The idea of citizens reporting on the news is a good thing, according to Katie Allman, a sophomore business major.
“A lot of times real journalists don’t see situations in the same way that citizens do, it’s great that citizens are reporting on issues that they see,” Allman said.
Martin said he is passionate about communicating with his peers, especially during such an exciting time.
“Every so often, there is a mix of factors that comes together that a generation can get their hands in and say ‘we can affect change,'” Martin said, “and 2008 is one of those times.”
contact Campus Press Staff Writer Emery Cowan at email@example.com