The questions in presidential debates have traditionally been determined by whatever media outlet happened to be running the show. CNN and YouTube are looking to change that tonight. As you may know, YouTube is working with CNN to hold a presidential debate where all of the questions will asked through YouTube videos that have been submitted since early June.
Even though users can submit their own questions, CNN is ultimately in charge of picking the questions that are going to be asked. Still, this is a promising development. According to an article on CNN.com, there is a small committee at CNN that is in charge of selecting the questions. David Bohrman, Senior VP for CNN and a member of the selection committee said, "There are questions that we, the journalists, we, the mainstream media, would never think to ask in the presidential debate."
The fact that this debate is even happening just goes to show the enormous impact that user generated-content has had on society. Ten, even five years ago, something like this would have had no chance of happening. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out and hopefully this type of debate becomes more typical in the future.
For those interested, the debate will be on CNN tonight at 7pm ET and available on youtube.com/debates for discussion and critique shortly thereafter. So, set your TiVo, VCR, maybe even watch it live and let me know what you think.