YouTube launched this Wednesday a channel dedicated to members of Congress, where they will have the opportunity to debate on topics such as the budget, economy, energy, Afghanistan, education, and health care.
The channel is named YouTube Town Hall, the debate topics were chosen by popularity on Google News and Google web search over the past year, but YouTube plans to accept questions from viewers in the future.
Each debate features two members of Congress who explain their points of view on the given topic in videos made especially for the Town Hall channel.
Sides are not necessarily drawn along party lines, and viewers only find out what party each debater belongs to (unless they recognize him or her, of course) after they choose which person’s perspective they support. Those votes will be tallied and displayed on a leader board to show who is “winning” the debate.
According to the YouTube Head of News and Politics Steve Grove, more than 90% of the members of Congress have YouTube channels, as well as several presidential candidates. “Politicians are realizing that being on YouTube is not just a hobby,” Grove says. “It’s faster than other media, more ubiquitous than other media. It’s sight, sound and emotion all in one. It’s probably the most comprehensive way you have to get a message out there.”