Citizens to Document Their Voting Experiences From Polling Places
San Bruno, CA and Arlington, VA October 15, 2008 -- YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, has partnered with PBS to empower American voters to upload their Election Day voting experiences to YouTube (http://youtube.com/videoyourvote).
The initiative educates voters on the entire process and a wide array of issues associated with voting in America, while enabling the world to watch pivotal moments in this historic election as they unfold. In the first presidential election since YouTube's inception, this program aims to gather massive amounts of polling place video, with the Channel serving as an online library for Election Day footage.
"Voters have documented each step of the 2008 election on YouTube and this phenomenon will culminate on November 4 as people head to the polls to determine the forty-fourth President of the United States," said Steve Grove, YouTube's head of news and politics. "This partnership with PBS, an organization known for offering rich perspectives, will help voters examine all aspects of voting from the registration processes, to reforms, to technology and election administration, to the actual casting of ballots."
Starting today, registered United States voters can share their voting experiences via the Video Your Vote YouTube Channel. On November 4, the Channel will serve as the premier online destination for up-to-the-minute coverage from voters contributing videos straight from thousands of precincts across the country.
Some of the best videos will be showcased on PBS television, as part of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer's Election Day broadcast. They may also be used throughout PBS' election coverage, both on-air and online. YouTube users are asked to tag all of their Election Day videos #videoyourvote. Events, for instance, that hinder the voting process should be tagged, "pollproblem." These videos, as well as those documenting the spectrum of the entire voting process, will be easy to find on the Channel and analysts from PBS' political team will then review some of them and offer commentary on how the election played out.
"This program takes the best of PBS and The NewsHour, our editorial reputation and broadcast reach, and combines it with YouTube's tremendous online video community to share polling place footage from Maine to California and everywhere in between for all to see," said Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and political editor of The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. "This is the YouTube election, and we're thrilled to be a part of it."
In addition, YouTube and PBS also will distribute 1,000 Flip Video(tm) camcorders through Pure Digital Technologies, Inc.'s Flip Video Spotlight Program so that participating non-partisan nonprofit groups and local PBS stations across the country can also capture polling place activity.
"By providing a way for local-level voters to 'video your vote' YouTube, PBS and our local stations will empower thousands of people across the country to take an active - and personal - role in the democratic process," said Jason Seiken, senior vice president, PBS Interactive.
As Election Day excitement rises to a boil, people are encouraged to visit the Video Your Vote channel to view exclusive videos from: BlackBoxVoting.org, Center for Governmental Studies, Citizen Media Law Project, Common Cause, HowCast, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, People for the American Way Foundation, Rock the Vote Why Tuesday? and more.
Some states and counties have regulations against the use of recording equipment at polling places on Election Day. YouTube and PBS remind voters to please check with individual polling places on rules and regulations - more information can be found on the Video Your Vote channel.
YouTube is the world's most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 65 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
Get unparalleled reporting and analysis from the full "PBS Vote 2008" election line-up, including programs like The Newshour With Jim Lehrer, Frontline, Now on PBS, Bill Moyers' Journal, Tavis Smiley and Washington Week, offering Americans a unique opportunity to explore the Presidential elections and make an informed vote. In addition, PBS.org's election hub page, pbs.org/vote2008, will provide further perspectives. The site aggregates video from PBS, features syndicatable content from across public media and highlights innovative Web-only projects from PBS producers and stations.