Grad student Maira Garcia covers campaign for MTV

By Marc Speir
University News Service
February 7, 2008

Maira Garcia, mass communication graduate student at Texas State University-San Marcos and editor of campus paper The University Star, is covering the 2008 presidential campaign for MTV’s Choose or Lose.

The native of Cuero is representing the state of Texas as one of 51 young reporters chosen nationally by MTV to present political coverage. In January, Garcia attended a training session in New York City at MTV’s parent company, Viacom.

The network provided video equipment, laptops and software to the reporters and instructed them in the methods of reporting as grass roots citizen journalists.

Garcia will provide multimedia reporting of election news through blogs, animation, video clips and the possibility of televised broadcasts.

Her coverage will include the upcoming Democratic and Republican primary contests in Texas on March 4 and the political perspectives of college students.

Garcia says that in the wake of Super Tuesday, Texas is a big player in this year’s election, one she claims will bring out a more involved and organized youth demographic.

“Just talking to students, they are really into it and very informed,” Garcia said. “The shift really started in the 2004 election and proliferated into the 2008 election… there’s a lot of things going on that people aren’t happy about.”

The 22-year-old decided to attend graduate school at Texas State after completing her bachelor’s degree at the university in December with a double major in print journalism and political science.

“I got really interested in studying Latinos and media when I was an undergraduate,” Garcia said. “Since Dr. (Federico) Subervi was here, I knew he had done so much in this field and I didn’t see a reason to go someplace else.”

A portion of Garcia’s work can be seen on her MTV profile at

Included on the site are stories about the rights of transgendered students, the humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders and the role of Texas in primary elections. She is currently finishing a story about Texas candidate Ron Paul and working on another about the state of immigration.

Her coverage with MTV ends one week after the national election Nov. 4.