Charlie Rose-hosted presidential debates on Yahoo, Slate and The Huffington Post to let voters query candidates, assess performance.
The companies on Monday announced plans to host two online-only U.S. presidential debates this fall, giving voters a chance to directly query and evaluate candidates in real time.
Presidential hopefuls have been turning to the Internet to announce their candidacy for nearly a decade, but corporations have more recently been launching efforts to make candidates more accessible on the Web.
Earlier this month, News Corp.'s MySpace.com announced plans to hold a mock presidential election on January 1 and 2, and a number of the candidates have MySpace profiles, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
The presidential debates on Yahoo, Slate and The Huffington Post will feature candidates who have declared their intent to run in 2008, with one debate set aside for Democrats and the other for Republicans. Charlie Rose of PBS plans to host the debates.
An online audience will submit questions in real time, allowing them to participate in the debate. Viewer questions will also be uploaded on video.
"With presidential candidates (making announcements) online and with campaign ads and fund-raising increasingly online, presidential campaigns are moving to the Internet at breakneck speed," Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, said in a statement.
The debates are scheduled to be held after Labor Day, on Yahoo Elections, The Huffington Post and Slate.