Entry number 1364: a young man named Gavin sitting in his stroller in Portsmouth New Hampshire asks: what are you going to do so I can go to college one day? The young man, no older than five years of age, is the perfect reason for this collaboration between CNN and youtube.com. Anyone can get their voice heard — from the wacky dude in the bee hat, disgruntled at the fact the Fourth of July fell in the middle of the week, asking, “How can I get more vacation time?” to the monotone teenager wanting to know what the next Democratic leader can do about legalizing marijuana. Any and every one gets a chance to air their thoughts.
Many of the questions posed are not only deep questions, which a presidential candidate needs to have a valid stance in answering- but many of these questions are platform forming questions, in fact an older gentleman named Dick submitted entry number 1363 asking “when are we going to hear a definite platform, instead of what we want to hear…” accusing the politicians of altering their message depending on which community they are speaking to.
This debate, in essence is a community much broader than any of the Presidential candidates have spoken to before- the world wide web! There, we will see how each Democratic candidate takes to this challenge, July 23rd on CNN live from South Carolina.
The only downfall to this new media merger is the fact that opposed to youtube’s normal process of the fan base selecting top material, CNN’s producers are choosing which questions will air. Going through the now 2,989 questions and finding 25-30 solid questions is a challenge CNN’s producers have taken on, in effort to help frame this debate — but this is where the error comes into play. Youtube’s beauty lies in the fact that the material is chosen by the people after being made by the people. Now CNN is asking the people to make the material, only to have it edited, produced, and framed in a manner suitable for CNN’s aesthetic — this is where reality T.V. loses its realness. I am curious to see which questions are selected and which demographics the individuals posing the questions hail from.
Either way, it’s a revolutionary concept that will reach the people.
-Dru Harshaw, Oakland, California