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History-Making Election Debate For NZ

29 September 2008

TVNZ And Youtube Announce History-Making Election Debate For New Zealand

• Helen Clark and John Key to face user-submitted YouTube questions in official national debate on TV ONE.

• Online tools to empower voters: New Zealand's first "Election debate 2.0".

• Debate format is the first of its kind for a head of a national government and challenger.

TVNZ and YouTube today announced a history-making initiative which will allow New Zealanders to put questions directly to Prime Minister Helen Clark and Opposition Leader John Key – the ONE News YouTube Election Debate. TVNZ, New Zealand's public broadcaster, and YouTube, the leading online video community, will jointly present a live televised election debate between the two party leaders, featuring questions posted as video submissions on YouTube.

The leaders' responses will be broadcast live on TVNZ's flagship News channel, TV ONE, on October 14. ONE News' Mark Sainsbury will moderate the 90 minute ONE News YouTube Election Debate, with three of New Zealand's leading political journalists asking additional questions. Starting today, YouTube users in New Zealand, and expats, can submit their questions at www.youtube.co.nz/debate.

A selection of user questions will appear on YouTube for users to vote for their favourites. "YouTube enables voters and leaders to communicate in a way that simply was not possible during the 2005 election," said Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics at YouTube. "New Zealanders have long been leaders in embracing democracy and the opportunities that new technologies can provide, so we're thrilled to announce this debate and give all New Zealanders the chance to have their questions heard - and answered."

TVNZ's chief executive Rick Ellis says the partnership between the public broadcaster and YouTube is a new opportunity for New Zealanders to get their issues and concerns heard at the highest level. "It has the potential to make democracy a living, breathing thing for some sections of our community who might otherwise feel cut off from the political process. The ONE News YouTube Election Debate is a fantastic example of our determination to use the power of television and our internet relationships to provide public value," Ellis said.

This is the first time that a head of a national Government and the challenger for the top job will appear in an official live televised debate, featuring video questions asked directly by people using YouTube. In the United States, two CNN/YouTube debates were held in 2007, featuring Democratic and Republican candidates. The debates married YouTube's online video platform with CNN's political coverage and broadcast reach, bringing candidates and voters together in a unique way.

World leaders, including those from Australia, Great Britain, Japan, Jordan, Poland, Spain, the US and many other countries are using YouTube to answer questions, address and engage voters and citizens. In addition to the live airing on TVNZ, a replay of the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader's answers will be available on YouTube, giving New Zealanders the opportunity to respond to, and discuss, the leaders' answers and the issues raised.

-- ends –

ABOUT YOUTUBE YouTube is the world's most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Google Inc. www.youtube.co.nz launched in 2007.

ABOUT TVNZ TVNZ is New Zealand's biggest free-to-air broadcaster and is also the nation's television public broadcaster. We operate four channels, TVONE and TV2, and another two digital-only channels, TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7, which are broadcast through the Freeview platform. TVNZ also operates a website, www.tvnz.co.nz, and an online "catch up TV" service called TVNZ ondemand.

The TVNZ Charter provides a guide to our broadcasting responsibilities and makes it clear that TVNZ's role is to reflect and explore what it means to be a New Zealander. To New Zealanders this unique and special responsibility means quality television that educates, informs and entertains through local home grown programming and the best of international programming.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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