Channel 4 to stream Britain’s first Youth Leaders’ Debate
James R | On 17, Apr 2015
This year’s general election has embraced VOD more than ever, with debates available to watch live on YouTube and panel shows available to catch up with on BBC iPlayer. (See our general election VOD guide here.)
With just 4 in 10 under-25s voting in the last general election, digital media has become a key way for politics to engage with a younger generation: while some binge on Netflix’s House of Cards, others are talking on Twitter or asking party leaders questions on BBC Three – also on iPlayer. Now, though, Channel 4 will take the election one step further into the youth arena: by streaming the first ever Youth Leaders’ Debate.
The event, streamed exclusively online on Monday 28th April, will see seven youth party leaders go up against each other as they tackle the key issues for young voters.
Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji will chair the debate with representatives from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour, SNP, UKIP, Greens and Plaid Cymru.
The leaders will field questions from a studio audience made up of a diverse group of young voters, some of whom will be visiting the ballot box for the first time.
The show will be available on Channel 4’s new digital service All 4 – which launched last month as an all-in-one replacement for 4oD and the old Channel 4 site.
Each of the youth leaders have the backing of their political parties. The confirmed speakers include Alexandra Paterson, National Chairman of Conservative Future, Alex Harding, National Chair, Liberal Youth, Jack Duffin, Young Independence Chairman (UKIP), Hannah Ellen Clare, Young Greens Senator, Glenn Page, National Chairman of Plaid Cymru Youth, Finn McGoldrick, Chair of Labour Students and Chris Glendinning – National Convenor of SNP Students.
Viewers will be encouraged to get involved in the debate using the hashtag #YouthLeaders.
Tom Porter, Channel 4’s News & Current Affairs Commissioning Editor, says: “We are very excited to be hosting this ground-breaking debate on All 4. Young people often feel that their interests are ignored by political parties. We hope that by bringing the youth leaders together we can engage as many young people as possible on the issues that matter to them in this election and encourage them to vote.”
Shout Out UK, which co-produces the event with ITN Productions, is an independent news network that aims to show young people that politics has a direct impact on their lives.
Founder Matteo Bergamini says: “I am 22 and for my generation this is a huge event as for the first time in Britain, we are actively able to debate in our own event. We have the power to speak our mind and engage in any way we want, it is our right as well as our duty to make the most out of it and demand a better future.”
The Youth Leaders Debate will stream on All 4 at 8pm on Monday 28th April.