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Photo of Mitch Mosvick.

Carlson School student-cum-journalist Mitch Mosvick.

The accidental pundit: mysterious e-mail solicits U senior to write for Newsweek

Mysterious e-mail solicits U senior to write for Newsweek

By Chris Mikko

At first, it seemed like an elaborate practical joke. Last December, Carlson School student Mitch Mosvick was studying for finals when an e-mail popped up on his computer screen from an editor at Newsweek. The gist of the message: The publication wanted Mosvick to write a regular column on the 2004 presidential campaign for Newsweek.com. He'd have more or less free rein to choose the topics he wanted to cover, and he'd get paid $200 per article. Understandably, he was a little dubious. A 20-year-old senior majoring in information systems, Mosvick had written occasional opinion pieces for the Minnesota Daily, but nothing that he thought justified an offer from a national news magazine. But after checking out the source--"I did some research, and it was legitimate," he notes--he jumped at the offer.

"I like doing this, but I'm not much of a journalist...," Mosvick says, "unless Newsweek offers me a job at an ungodly salary."

He made his debut in early February with a column that explored U of M student attitudes toward the national elections. Since then, he's spent a few weeks as an embedded reporter with former Democratic hopeful Howard Dean's campaign in Iowa, and has been turning in articles on a monthly basis. Mosvick's work is part of a larger Newsweek.com series called "GeNext," which is attempting to explore the 2004 election via the perspective of young, first-time voters. "They pulled together five people from the around the country," Mosvick says. "The editor at Newsweek told me that she'd scanned some college publications and came across some of my articles in the Daily. They were looking for a mix of regional and ethnic diversity, and I guess I fit what they wanted. The funny thing was that I didn't have any reporting experience at all." While he says the experience has been fun, Mosvick says it hasn't pushed him toward a journalism career. "I like doing this, but I'm not much of a journalist," he says with a chuckle, explaining that he plans to go to law school in the fall--"unless Newsweek offers me a job at an ungodly salary." To see Mosvick's columns, along with the rest of Newsweek.com's GeNext section, go to www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4451832.

From an original article in Carlson School, spring 2004.