The 2007 CNN-YouTube presidential candidate debates provide a unique opportunity for the American populace to become engaged in national political discussion through the submission of video questions to YouTube for inclusion in two nationally broadcast debates (Democratic and Republican) on CNN. By using content analysis, a sample of the 7,916 videos submitted was examined for the demographic populations present and question and visual characteristics. The study found that traditionally politically disengaged populations (specifically minorities and young voters) were present in a significant proportion of the videos and that individuals used the debates as an opportunity to ask politically relevant questions of the candidates. The study also found that the videos selected by CNN for broadcast were representative of the videos submitted to and archived on the YouTube website.
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