First things first: After declaring themselves a “leading source of news, opinion, entertainment and community,” HuffPost today announced their OffTheBus 2012 “Cover the Conventions” contest. Contestants had to send in short videos making the case why they should go. They picked eight regular real world Joes with distinctly “un-Beltway” voices.
HuffPost will cover the cost of their travel, lodging and other expenses, with four joining the news team at each convention. Winners will receive “expert” training to become knowledgeable Ustream reporters. This translates to a “series of four live and interactive video sessions on topics including: best practices for storytelling and interviewing, technical tips and tricks, and the art of covering political conventions.”
We can’t wait to watch their coverage — we’re praying to the online Gods for MTV “Real World” or “Bachelor Pad” type confessionals over John King USA. Their reporting during the conventions can be found at www.huffingtonpost.com/news/offthebus and www.ustream.tv/huffingtonpost.
Meet the winners…
Judah Robinson is a 19-year-old New Orleans native eager to participate in a presidential election for the first time. He is an aspiring multimedia journalist seeking to be a voice for the country’s youth.
Krzysztof Piotrowski is a first-generation American filmmaker from Chicago who has followed the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country.
Pamela Powers Hannley is a political blogger and activist known as “The Tucson Progressive.” She is also the managing editor of a medical journal.
John Wellington Ennis is a filmmaker from Los Angeles who has directed a number of documentaries and comedies, including the political satire Wild Girls Gone, starring Amy Poehler.
Mario Núñez is a third-generation Tampa native and executive producer/host of a popular public access television show interested in exploring the jobs crisis, immigration issues, and the role of Florida in the upcoming election.
Jessica Wilt is an arts education administrator in New York City where she is actively involved in arts, education, and health-related advocacy and politics.
Daniel Simon is a recent college graduate and journalist who covers politics and culture and is concerned with how our country’s leaders are planning for future generations.
Randi Revill is a part-time reading instructor at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama. Her personal struggles with the job market have led to a passion for figuring out how the jobs crisis in America can be alleviated.