CNN, YouTube Team Up to Host First-Ever Voter-Generated Presidential Debates
CNN, the most trusted news source, and YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, today announced plans to bring two unprecedented presidential debates to the American public. For the first time in presidential debate history, the live forum will feature video questions submitted to YouTube which will be broadcast and answered by the candidates on CNN. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate the two-hour debates and pose follow-up questions.
The Democratic debate, the first Democratic National Committee-sanctioned presidential forum of the 2008 election cycle, will be held at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. from 7:00 to 9:00 PM (ET), on Monday, July 23, and will air live on CNN. The Republican presidential forum hosted by CNN and YouTube will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 PM (PT), on Monday, Sept 17, in Florida.
Starting today, YouTube users will be able to submit their questions at www.youtube.com/debates.
CNN will produce the televised events and will select the questions used in the debates. Select YouTube users will be among the live audience. “YouTube enables voters and candidates to communicate in a way that simply was not possible during the last election,” said Chad Hurley, CEO and co-founder of YouTube. “For the first time in the history of presidential debates, voters from around the country will be able to ask the future president of the United States a question in video form and hear the answer.”
“These debates take the bold step of embracing the ever-increasing role of the Internet in politics,” said Jim Walton, CNN Worldwide president. “The inclusion of the massive online community enables these debates to engage more viewers – and potential voters – than ever before.” YouTube will feature special debate coverage on its “You Choose ’08” platform and its Citizentube political channel before and after the debates. Immediately after the debates, user questions and candidate answers will be featured prominently on YouTube where people can interact with the content through YouTube’s community features, extending the life of the debates.
In addition to the live airing on CNN, the debates will appear on CNN’s multiple platforms. The events will be simulcast on CNN.com, CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Radio and CNN Airport Network. CNN.com’s Election Center, available at www.CNN.com/ELECTION, also will provide extensive coverage and analysis of the debates, including behind-the-scenes reports, podcasts and on-demand video, including the entire debates in streaming and downloadable formats. The broadcast of the debates also will be made available to all CNN Radio affiliates worldwide, with special coverage available on Headline News and to CNN Newsource affiliates.
YouTube is the world’s largest online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is based in San Bruno, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the #1 network of news websites in the U.S.; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks.
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