YouTube teams with UK newspapers for electoral debate bid

YouTube has joined forces with UK national newspapers the Guardian and the Telegraph and the three are proposing to jointly host a debate among UK political leaders ahead of next year’s election.

There has been much talk in the UK about the possibility of a televised debate or debates, but the three-way proposal from YouTube, the Guardian and the Telegraph is the first time the prospect of hosting the debate on the internet has been mooted.

The proposal was sent to UK political party leaders yesterday. The Guardian reported informal talks had already been held with politicians.

The trio proposing the online debate claim it would encourage interactivity and engage a younger demographic than TV. They would allow traditional broadcasters and any media outlet to embed the live debate were it to go ahead.

YouTube and its partners also pledged that the debate moderator would be female.

Ahead of the last UK election there were three televised debates. No debates have been confirmed yet ahead of next year’s poll of the UK electorate.

Reporting the news, the Telegraph quoted the editor in chief of Telegraph Media Group, Jason Seiken, as saying: “The power of digital media comes in its ability to connect our leaders and the public in a two-way conversation. It appeals to millions who have not previously bothered to engage in the political process.”