WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time in presidential debate history, user-generated video will drive two unprecedented debates. CNN and YouTube's live forum will feature video questions submitted to YouTube which will be broadcast and answered by Democratic and Republican 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, South Carolina, on Monday, July 23, at and will air live on CNN. The Republican presidential forum hosted by CNN and YouTube will take place on Monday, Sept 17, in Florida.
Starting today, June 14, through July 22, the public will be able to submit their questions on YouTube. The site also includes some tips on how to help get your video chosen.
CNN will produce the televised events and will select the questions used in the debates. Select YouTube users will be flown to Charleston to watch the debates live.
“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 debate, 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 debate, including behind-the-scenes reports, podcasts and on-demand video, including the entire debate in streaming and downloadable formats.