With the 2016 U.S. presidential election heading down the home stretch, MTV is launching a digital series covering political news pitched at younger Americans, “The Racket,” featuring MTV News national correspondent Jamil Smith.
The new series, which debuts Monday, aims to educate millennials on the state of today’s political climate and empower them to make a difference in this year’s polls.
“This might be the most ridiculous presidential election in years,” Smith says in the premiere episode. “But despite the absurdity, here are a ton of reasons to get out and vote.” In the segment, Smith outlines 15 reasons why young people must vote in both presidential and local elections to enact political change in their communities.
For MTV, which has seen steady ratings declines in its target audience demo in recent months, the new series is part of the cabler’s attempt to revive the MTV News brand and make it relevant to a new generation.
MTV will release three episodes of “The Racket” per week that will highlight the week’s top news through the next 12 weeks.
One weekly episode will feature Smith; the other two will be animated segments featuring MTV News correspondents Jane Coaston, who has previously written for the Human Rights Campaign and SBNation.com in addition to working for a number of non-profit organizations, and Marcus Patrick Ellsworth, who was previously a community organizer for Open Chattanooga and volunteers with organizations working for LGBT equality.
The series is produced by Brendan Kennedy, MTV’s digital director of development, and production company Kornhaber Brown.
Smith, who joined MTV News in February 2016, previously was a senior editor at the New Republic. He also worked as a producer for MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Previously he worked at NFL Films, HBO, CNN and WME.
Watch the debut episode of “The Racket” here: