45 million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in this year's presidential election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country. Learn more about the issues, register to vote and get involved with MTV's Power of 12. Today, we've got another "Jargon Buster" for you.
zoo plane: a plane carrying journalists covering a presidential campaign
A zoo plane is not an animal cargo carrier. It is not a sequel to "Life of Pi." It is not the proposed plan for some circus airline with zebra striped jets and on-board snake charmers. Nope. On zoo planes, the animals are reporters.
Back in the '80s, some papers decided to go ahead and print the term, qualifying the hoards of hungry writers and broadcasters hoping to witness that killer sound byte, that campaign-defining declaration from nominees on the trail. (Note the not-at-all-subtle irony of newspapers insulting their own. Had the tension finally broken those editorial zookeepers!? Perhaps...)
Though swarms of microphone-shoving investigators and camera-ready reporters may be ever-so-slightly off-putting, let's not forget that diversity in news sources means more comprehensive coverage, more informed voters, more well-rounded election attitudes, and, hopefully, the "right" Prez for the people at the end of the day. With news and news sources having changed a lot since the '80s — what with bloggers (who, me!?), renegade iReporters and camera phone stalkers on the loose -- I'd say we've graduated from zoo containment to safari mode. Perhaps I'll blog about it ...
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