Cingular Sponsors Blog at RNC

Cingular's team of digital reporters are to provide real-time coverage of the Republican National Convention

August 30, 2004

3 Min Read

ATLANTA -- Building on the success of its program at the Democratic National Convention, Cingular will sponsor a team of graduate and undergraduate journalism students using the latest in wireless technology to provide a unique, real-time youth perspective at the Republican National Convention. The sponsorship is part of Cingular's Wireless Election Connection, a program encouraging young people to vote and play a key role in the political process.

"The opinions of youth voters weigh heavily in our country's political process," said Marc Lefar, Chief Marketing Officer of Cingular Wireless. "Through the Wireless Election Connection, journalism students receive great training using the latest wireless technologies and moblog visitors can obtain a unique perspective on the conventions and election process."

Cingular's team of "digital reporters," directed by professional journalists, are comprised of students from Columbia University and the University of California - Berkeley. Armed with a Cingular camera phone and Cingular Wireless service, the reporters will capture election news, events and activities surrounding the convention and post pictures, audio and video to the mobile weblog (moblog) hosted at Cingular's Election Headquarters at http://www.rucingular.com/election or http://www.wec.textamerica.com . This moblog is powered by Textamerica, which has built the world's most advanced and flexible mobile image publishing solution. Textamerica's back office provides the flexibility required to manage, edit and publish multiple images, coming from multiple sources, on the fly.

The Wireless Election Connection moblog combines the scope of print journalism with the immediacy of electronic journalism and illustrates the possibilities and the future of news. And, unlike many blogs, Cingular's moblog adheres to the highest traditional journalistic standards providing objective coverage of the political events. Editing of the content is conducted at Newsplex, a next-generation newsroom and training center based at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Designed as a model for the news industry, the Newsplex project is a prototype multiple-media, micro- newsroom for demonstration, research and training in next-generation news handling tools and techniques. Cingular Wireless' all-digital GSM/GPRS network in South Carolina provides the backbone for its voice and advanced wireless data services.

At the Democratic National Convention (DNC), Cingular's "digital reporters" from the University of South Carolina, Emerson College and Northeastern University covered events and received rave reviews on their blogging activities. In a CNN report on July 27, Dave L. Sifry said, "The Wireless Election Connection moblog looks to be one of the surprise hits of the weblog coverage here at the convention." During the DNC, Cingular's team posted 437 stories, averaging approximately one every 10 minutes over an 18- hour workday. The site received nearly 15,000 hits.

"This unique style of journalism gives students -- as well as all voters -- important insight they can use to make informed decisions," said Randy Covington, Director, Ifra Newsplex. "While each entry stands alone as a piece of micro-journalism, collectively they create an intricate mosaic of the day's events, revealing trends and tones for each voter to evaluate according to their individual needs."

The Wireless Election Connection rounds out Cingular's 2004 youth election-related initiatives, which includes partnerships with MTV's "Choose or Lose 2004," Comedy Central and its "Indecision 2004" programming, as well as our co-sponsorship, along with Motorola, of Rock the Vote. This multi- pronged grassroots campaign is aimed at driving voter registration, participation and issue education in the political process.

Cingular Wireless

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