NPI and the New Era Marked by the CNN-YouTube Presidential Debate

The Presidential debate jointly sponsored by YouTube and CNN this evening represents a remarkable moment where new media finally takes its rightful place right alongside the old media. The symbolism of the moment will be as important as the practical outcome of this experiment in melding the best of the traditional political journalism world with the powerful new capabilities of the highly democratized and participatory world of web video.

I will be in South Carolina tonight to witness this coming of age in new media, represented by YouTube, the web video website owned by Google, which is the most prominent of a whole range of new media sites that are now making a big impact on American Politics. The New Politics Institute has been heralding this transition and the importance of these new tools since its inception more than two years ago. We have been helping progressives understand the magnitude of the changes happening in media and new digital technologies, as well as master the new strategies on how to successfully integrate these tools into politics.

For those who want a refresher before the debate on how these new tools play in politics, take a look at the report, videos of our public meetings, and other forms of content at our website at or the various links to the side. Web Video itself has been the subject of quite a bit of recent content, including "The Exploding World of Web Video", a video from a recent event of ours that shows how web video is being used in politics. Then there's “Political Web Video World", an innovative video itself that gives an overview of more than a dozen categories of political activities where web video already is making its mark. Check out the written report by NPI Fellow Julie Bergman Sender on her approach to creating compelling web video, such as her famous “White House West” Will Ferrell impersonation of George W. Bush on a ranch in the lead-up to the 2004 election. Or check out our NPI blog, or the NDN blog, where Tuesday I will post my analysis on the debate and what made it different.

The week may start with the historic YouTube/CNN debate in South Carolina, but it will end Friday with an NPI event in Washington on the launch of Stage II of our New Tools Campaign. We will showcase eight new tools that are ready for widespread adoption by progressives at all levels of politics. We will build off last year’s tools - Buy Cable, Engage the Blogs, Speak in Spanish, and Advertise Online - by adding Re-imagine Video, Go Mobile, Leverage Social Networks, and Target Your Marketing. We will have experts speaking in DC, with video of the whole event, as well as practical memos about how to get started using these tools.

As the name of the debate indicates, the new politics will not be about the new media completely superseding the old, or the old media beating back incursions of the new. The new politics coming in this cycle and the decade to come will be about both old and new working together in unprecedented ways. The New Politics Institute will be there every step of the way, and we hope you will be there with us. Thanks.