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Online debates planned for 2008 prez campaign

Posted at 11:29 AM on April 23, 2007 by Bill Wareham (1 Comments)

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) - The 2008 presidential contenders may soon be
slugging it out in cyberspace, with pioneering online-only debates
being planned for early next fall, a new media partnership says.

The political blog Huffington Post, online portal Yahoo and
Slate Magazine will host the debates - one for Democratic
candidates, one for Republicans - sometime after Labor Day, with
PBS host Charlie Rose serving as moderator, the sponsors planned to
announce Monday.

Voters will be invited to submit questions, and can blog in real
time to share their opinions on the candidates' answers.

Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, said the
idea for online debates was hatched earlier this year at the World
Economic Forum in Davos, which bloggers and citizen journalists had
been invited to cover.

"It was clear to me, the 2008 campaign was going to be
dominated by what's happening on line - new technologies, new media
like never before," Huffington said. She then contacted Rose and
Slate editor Jacob Weisberg to form a partnership to produce the

Yahoo, the largest provider of online news, will host the
debates and provide the technological expertise to produce them.

Candidates will be able to participate from far-flung locations,
speaking and interacting with one another before separate video
cameras. The video will also appear on the Slate and Huffington
Post Web sites.

Major news organizations have already harnessed Internet
technology for debates, often Webcasting them and televising them
at once. But Web-only debates will be substantively different than
televised debates that appear online, participants in the
partnership said.

Scott Moore, director of Yahoo's news and information service,
compared the debates to the first televised forums between Democrat
John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960.

Historians believe voters who watched the debate believed
Kennedy was the winner, while voters who listened on the radio
thought Nixon had won.

It's a really significant, historic opportunity for the
candidates to test their debate skills in a brand new format,"
Moore said.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has agreed to
introduce the Democratic debate, Huffington said. She said the
campaigns had all been contacted about the idea and most had
indicated an interest in participating.

Comments (1)

So what happened to the 3rd party and independent candidates? Alien abduction, perhaps? Democracy...always a fight...


Posted by gary | April 23, 2007 8:01 PM