In a joint announcement on Thursday, YouTube and CNN unveiled their plans for co-sponsored Democratic and Republican presidential debates that aim to bring the standard televised events into the digital age of mashups, remixes and viral buzz. Not only will video content from the events (as well as other CNN debates) be made available for sharing and distribution online, but the debate questions themselves will come in the form of videos sent in by YouTube users.
(Video: YouTube's call for submissions)
In a dial-in press conference, representatives from both companies explained the new process and answered questions from reporters--on hand were Jon Klein, president of CNN U.S.; David Bohrman, CNN's senior vice president and Washington, D.C. bureau chief; Chad Hurley, YouTube's CEO and co-founder; and Steve Grove, YouTube's news and politics editor.
All four projected eager enthusiasm that this new debate format would bring a more democratic angle to the way campaign dialogue is conducted. "This is how debates would have been done since the beginning of time, had the technology been available," Klein extolled. "It's really powerful, and it really brings the country to the presidential candidates in a very visual and contextual way," added Grove.