Debates '08 go online-only

In the history of presidential debates, there's the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Kennedy-Nixon debate where America first got a look at its nominees, and now, the first online-only debates. ">Yahoo, the Huffington Post and Slate announced yesterday that they are cosponsoring two debates, one for Democrats and one for Republicans, that will be moderated by Charlie Rose.

In the history of presidential debates, there's the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Kennedy-Nixon debate where America first got a look at its nominees, and now, the first online-only debates. ">Yahoo, the Huffington Post and Slate announced yesterday that they are cosponsoring two debates, one for Democrats and one for Republicans, that will be moderated by Charlie Rose.

"We intend for these debates to be a groundbreaking mix of old and new traditions in politics," said Charlie Rose. "2008 will be a momentous year for the electoral process in America, thanks in large part to technology and politics connecting like never before. I am proud to host the first ever online only debate, which will reach and engage the voting audience in a whole new way."
Arianna Huffington called the debates a "further merging of new media technology and politics," expressing hope that the online nature of the event would further engage young people in politics.

The politicians will not all be in the same room but will participate from locations of their choosing. The debates will features real-time questions from citizens and questions uploaded on video.

"The 2008 campaign is going to unfold on the Web in a way no previous election ever has," said Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate. "We hope these first online debates will be a breakthrough, both in terms of technology and political communication. The candidates will be able to have a real discussion in real time -- but without having to be in the same place. We think the Internet can bring the same kind of immediacy to presidential debates that it has to other aspects of the political process."

Tune into Yahoo Elections.

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