NEW YORK WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H., the station at ground zero for presidential politics, is turning to the blogging community to recruit citizen journalists for the upcoming June presidential debates.
Throughout the month, the Hearst-Argyle Television ABC station has partnered with Gather.com to sponsor an open writing competition ("Your Voice, Your Vote, Your Next President") to find 15 citizen journalists (five Democrats, five Republicans and five Independents). Selected by the blogging community, the citizen journalists will cover the June 3 Democratic and June 5 Republican debates simulcast on WMUR, CNN and their respective Web sites.
"The Web has become a key battleground for political debate. Much as the candidates have used the Web to talk to voters, so too are we using citizen journalism to give voters a chance to tell candidates what they think," said Jeffrey Bartlett, president and general manager of WMUR.
During the debates, the 15 representative bloggers will be in the "spin room" posting commentary from the events. They may also pose questions directly to candidates during the debates.