Technology

CNN.com launches ’The Forum’ to showcase public opinion on election candidates













MUMBAI: Responding to the intense public interest in the upcoming presidential election in the US and in both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, CNN.com has launched The Forum.


This is an online destination for political and social self-expression where the CNN audience can share opinions on the candidates and the election overall, as well as the issues most important to them.

 

CNN.com senior VP and executive producer Rena Golden says, “CNN.com’s users are independent thinkers with diverse viewpoints and opinions, and we are delighted to offer a launching point for them to become a bigger part of the global conversation. The Forum will serve as more than a platform to inform our users – it will give our audience a medium and tools to participate and engage in the major issues of today."


As CNN’s latest online community initiative, The Forum will provide CNN.com users with a platform to inform themselves as well as sound off and engage in discussion about issues they deem important this election season and beyond. The Forum provides users with practical, convenient access to the most current election information, including detailed candidate profiles and platforms; examination of salient issues; an extensive video archive allowing users to hear from the candidates in their own words – raw and uncensored; and links to relevant political Web sites and other resources.

 

At CNN.com/Forum, users will be provided with simple tools for self-identification, social networking and community-building, including the ability to:
• Design a virtual "badge" graphically depicting an individual user’s personal political passions and positions on top issues;
• Compare viewpoints and trends through Flash-animated graphs, sortable across several categories; and
• Engage in informed discussions with other members of The Forum community.


The forum builds on CNN’s April launch of the League of First Time Voters. This is a multi-platform programming initiative designed to inform, involve and empower individuals passionate about this election cycle. In addition to the League of First Time Voters, The Forum enables users to identify with like-minded individuals in additional leagues, including the Leagues of Political Junkies, Conservative Voters, Independent Voters and Liberal Voters, all of which were selected by polling the CNN.com audience.


From each of the leagues’ respective Web pages, users can educate themselves about the candidates, key issues and the election process in general, as well as use an easy-to-use online voter registration tool from Rock the Vote, a non-partisan organization dedicated to engaging young people in the political process. The tool allows users to download a one-page voter registration form directly from CNN.com, streamlining and simplifying the process for users. Rock the Vote’s tool also automatically follows up with registrants to ensure they complete the voter-registration process and know where and when to vote on Election Day, 4 November 2008.


By visiting the League of First Time Voters’ page at www.CNN.com/League, users can access the music video for the leagues’ theme song"Feels Like the First Time" re-recorded by platinum-selling recording artist Daughtry and originally made famous by Foreigner in 1977. The video, created by CNN, includes imagery of first-time voters of all ages, as well as Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on the campaign trail.


Online users also are invited to pose questions to CNN’s Best Political Team on Television through video submissions to iReport.com, CNN’s unfiltered user-generated community Web site.

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