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Newstalk and YouTube unveil Ireland's first 'Digital Debate'

The broadcaster and video streaming site will take questions from visitors, then record clips of the politicians answering them.

Image: YouTube.com

CURRENT AFFAIRS broadcaster Newstalk and video sharing site YouTube have unveiled what they are describing as Ireland’s first ‘digital debate’ – where party leaders will appear on the site to answer questions submitted by the public.

The online forum, launched this morning, will allow registered users on the YouTube site – i.e. anyone with a Google account – to table a question to be answered by each of the leaders.

Those questions will be ranked afterward, with individual users clicking thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons to mark whether they agree with each question being put or not.

The top ten questions submitted are then put to the leaders, who record videos of themselves answering those questions – with viewers then able to lodge their votes for who they perceived as the winner.

Questions can be submitted either by video or textually, and can be sorted into themes like the economy, jobs, health and education, or political reform.

David Graham from YouTube explained that there had been “a phenomenal response to a similar Digital Debate held during the UK General election, and we hope to repeat the success in Ireland.”

Videos from each of the five main party leaders – Micheál Martin, Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, John Gormley and Gerry Adams – will be uploaded in response to the questions on Friday February 18th, with voting on the winner closing on February 24 – the day before polling in the election itself.

The Digital Debate can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/irishelection.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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