In another sign that the upcoming presidential election is truly the first of the digital age, MTV and MySpace are teaming up to present the first-ever presidential debate to feature real time, one-on-one dialogues between candidates and voters.
All of the major Republican and Democratic candidates have signed on to participate in the events on college campuses across the nation — to be aired on MTV and MTVu and webcast on MySpaceTV and MTV.com — in which they will answer candid, unfiltered questions from young viewers. These discussions will represent the first attempt to let home viewers and a live audience interact with candidates in real time.
The first hour-long town-hall style dialogue will take place on September 27 with former Sen. John Edwards in the early primary state of New Hampshire. MTV viewers and MTV.com and MySpace users will be able to submit questions for the events through MySpaceIM, mobile devices and e-mail while they watch the live webcast. At the same time, online viewer reaction will be monitored through live polling on both MTV.com and MySpace.com.
“For years, young people have trusted MTV to inform and engage them on the issues that matter most, from politics to sexual health to the environment,” said MTV President Christina Norman. “We’re extremely proud to partner with MySpace on our always evolving, Emmy-winning Choose or Lose campaign, as we join forces and empower our audiences to connect with presidential candidates in a much more meaningful way.”
“These presidential dialogues will bring individual candidates directly to voters – one at a time,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of MySpace. “We are lowering the barriers to entry, setting a high-water mark for direct engagement between presidential candidates and average Americans.”
Thousands of MySpace and MTV.com users will have the opportunity to attend the dialogues from September to December of this year, some of them by “friending” the candidate’s official profile on MySpace.com, adding them to their “Top 8” and then being one of the first to arrive when a new campus location is revealed.
MTV.com will also choose some of the best viewer-submitted online videos showing how they’re addressing election issues that impact their community. The creators of the winning videos will be flown in for the event.
MTV wants you to cover the 2008 election for us! MTV’s Choose or Lose is looking for aspiring journalists to report on the 2008 election via written stories, vlogs and photos — you’ll find all the info you need and an application right here!
Candidates confirmed to participate in the series include:
· Former Sen. John Edwards (www.myspace.com/johnedwards) on September 27
· Sen. Sam Brownback (www.myspace.com/sambrownbacks)
· Sen. Hillary Clinton (www.myspace.com/hillaryclinton)
· Sen. Chris Dodd (www.myspace.com/senatordodd)
· Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (www.myspace.com/joinrudy2008)
· Rep. Duncan Hunter (www.myspace.com/duncanhunter)
· Sen. John McCain (www.myspace.com/JohnMcCain)
· Sen. Barack Obama (www.myspace.com/barackobama)
· Rep. Ron Paul (www.myspace.com/ronpaul2008)
· Gov. Bill Richardson (www.myspace.com/richardsonforpresident)
· Former Gov. Mitt Romney (www.myspace.com/mittromney)