Arizona PBS Invites Voters to Discuss Debates via Facebook Group

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Arizona PBS and “PBS NewsHour” invite voters to engage in a conversation about the Feb. 11 Democratic presidential debate through Facebook.

The Democratic National Committee sanctioned debate – to be moderated by “PBS NewsHour” co-anchors and managing editors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff – will be the first following the New Hampshire primary, and will take place at the Helen Bader Concert Hall in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The “PBS NewsHour” Democratic Primary Debate, which is part of the PBS Election 2016 lineup, will be broadcast on Arizona PBS and streamed live at www.pbs.org/newshour.

“PBS NewsHour” and Facebook have created a closed Facebook group of undecided voters in states soon to vote in the primaries, allowing for open discussion and soliciting questions for the Feb. 11 debate. Participants will have the opportunity to interact around political news and issues with the NewsHour's political team including political director Lisa Desjardins, online political editor Dan Bush and correspondent and “NewsHour Weekend” anchor Hari Sreenivasan.

During the debate, “PBS NewsHour” will incorporate live Facebook data into the conversation and broadcast graphics to offer insight into how the candidates and specific issues are driving the online conversation. On Feb. 11, “PBS NewsHour” will also open up the Facebook group so people at home can follow along.

“We are excited to offer the community a platform to interact with other voters and share their thoughts and opinions regarding the upcoming presidential debates,” said Nancy Southgate, associate general manager of content at Arizona PBS. “We’re looking forward to engaging with voters in real time as they make the tough decisions about who they’ll cast their votes for in the 2016 presidential election.”

“From the start with ‘PBS NewsHour,’ they brought a spirit of innovation to thinking about how to bring people on Facebook into the debate,” said Andy Mitchell, director of news and global media partnerships at Facebook. “That spirit shows through in their unique use of Facebook groups to help foster conversation about the issues and bring Americans’ voices into the political process in a new way. We couldn’t be more excited for Feb. 11.”

About PBS NewsHour
“PBS NewsHour” is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Major funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by BNSF and Lincoln Financial Group, with additional support from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at www.pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit NewsHour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.

About PBS Election 2016
PBS Election 2016 is a year-long, cross-platform initiative that brings together PBS’ news, public affairs, documentary and digital programming to create a comprehensive look at the 2016 election cycle. Acclaimed series PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE and Washington Week, as well as new and returning series and specials such as 16 FOR ’16 and America by the Numbers, will cover breaking news, provide context for political issues and explore behind-the-scenes stories of the candidates and the election process. PBS Election 2016 also includes a partnership with NPR in which the two organizations will share information across broadcast, radio and digital platforms.

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