Two USD students named as national semifinalists for Academy mtvU Oscar correspondent contest

Online Voting Underway; Grand Prize Winners to Earn Red Carpet and Press Room Credentials for 82nd Academy Awards®

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, announced 10 teams of college journalists as semifinalists in the 2010 Oscar Correspondent Contest, each vying for a coveted position on the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood. Video entries from the semifinalist teams are posted online at http://oscars.mtvU.com, where students and other viewers can vote for their favorite college journalists until Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

Angie LaCompte and Travis Berg, two students in USD's Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism program, were named semifinalists along with student journalists from Chapman University, Emerson College, Florida A&M University, Middle Tennessee State University, Rider University, Syracuse University, Texas State University-San Marcos and University of Texas.

On Feb. 12, the three teams with the most online votes, and as agreed upon by the Academy and mtvU, will advance to the final round of competition.  From Feb. 16 to March 2, fans can continue to cast their votes for the teams of finalists as they compete for grand prize.  All three teams will be flown to Los Angeles to cover Academy Awards pre-events, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award media op, the Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Symposium and the Governors Ball preview. The grand prize-winning team will be revealed on Saturday, March 6, at an Academy press conference.  The anchor and videographer will be awarded a spot on the red carpet for the 82nd Academy Awards arrivals, as well as credentials for access to backstage press rooms.  The winning team's coverage will be aired on MTV News and mtvU.  The two finalist teams will receive bleacher seats along the red carpet and admission to an Oscar viewing party.

The 10 semifinalist teams were selected by the Academy and mtvU from videos submitted for the competition.  The entries were judged based on criteria including originality, creativity, and how compelling the video was overall.  The competition was open to teams of two college students, one anchor and one videographer, residing in the United States. For a complete list of rules and regulations for the Oscar Correspondent Contest, visit http://oscars.mtvu.com.