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Yahoo! News Offers Socially-Enhanced Experience During 2012 Elections

Today, Yahoo! News, the #1 site for online news [i], announced programming efforts for its elections hub, The Ticket ( http://news.yahoo.com/ticket/) during the final months leading up to the U.S. Elections on November 6 including #HashOut, a social program focused on sparking debate, a new election night control room, and six new video shows dedicated to convention coverage. These new programs aim to drive dynamic conversations about the political and economic issues facing the nation, offer an expanded view from the convention floor, and deliver even more first-source reporting from the campaign trail, inside the Beltway, and beyond. Building on the success of Yahoo!’s multi-faceted election coverage thus far, these new initiatives are designed to further engage and activate Yahoo! News’ audience of more than 80 million users [ii].

“Our ambitious election program has informed and engaged audiences about the issues that matter,” said Robertson Barrett, Vice President of News & Finance at Yahoo!. “As we continue that mission, we’re also thrilled to host our first-ever event at this year’s national political conventions, deliver even more premium content, and provide our audience with the most exciting, comprehensive, and immersive election night experience online.”

The second phase of Yahoo!'s 2012 election program includes engaging social experiences:

#HashOut: The first talk show conducted over social media, #HashOut is a new way to talk about the news. This new Yahoo! News editorial driven social engagement program, launching next week, aims to ignite a daily debate about politics, current news, and buzzing topics between the Yahoo! audience and a panel of political influencers, industry thought leaders, Yahoo! experts, and journalists. Each weekday, the Yahoo! News Twitter (@YahooNews) feed will pose a question to all of its followers. Three curated answers will be published the following day on the Yahoo! #HashOut page and the Yahoo! community will vote on the answer they think is best.

Notable #HashOut participants include American Tax Reform Founder and President Grover Norquist, Princeton professor and former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Lost” writer and producer Damon Lindelof, and New York Times Magazine Editor Hugo Lindgren. See additional participants at end of release.

Election Control Room: Yahoo! News will deliver timely and relevant content with rich social engagement during key election events, through a modern, fluid, and responsive platform that puts the user in control. The control room will provide users a personalized, engaging experience with access to Yahoo! News' comprehensive elections and campaign coverage. Features will include live streaming video, maps of all House, Senate and Governors races as well as the Presidential race results down to the county level, live blogging, and more.

Video programming covering the conventions will kick off August 27 with several shows dedicating special coverage to the conventions. See them on Yahoo! News at http://news.yahoo.com/ticket/ :

“#HashOut: On Location”: Hosted by New York Times best-selling author Baratunde Thurston, the show is a fast-paced program that will give convention-goers and journalists an opportunity to weigh in on newsworthy questions posed by #HashOut. Shot on and around the floor of each convention, Thurston will interview some of the more colorful convention-goers (and notables), posing a #HashOut question of the day. (Yahoo! Studios)

“Just Explain It: Political Edition" : Hosted by David Chalian, Washington Bureau Chief for Yahoo! News, the show will provide in-depth analysis of key election issues like immigration, medicare, and taxes. The show will run Tuesday through Thursday from the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention. (Yahoo! Studios)

“Just Explain It: Historical Moments”: Hosted by Jeff Greenfield, veteran political journalist and columnist for Yahoo! News, this show will offer the best-selling author’s unique perspective on the most memorable moments of national political conventions throughout United States history. (Yahoo! Studios)

Live Convention Coverage: Co-hosted by Yahoo! News Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian and ABC News political director Amy Walter, this dynamic LIVE coverage will recap convention highlights in a roundtable discussion with ABC News anchors and correspondents including Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos, “World News” Weekend Anchor David Muir, Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Senior Washington Editor Rick Klein, Political Contributor Matthew Dowd, and Yahoo! News’ White House correspondent Olivier Knox, senior political reporter Holly Bailey and senior political reporter Chris Moody. A live blog during the conventions will be anchored by Yahoo! News’ Chris Suellentrop. Veteran political reporters Jeff Greenfield and Walter Shapiro will participate along with pundits, writers, and users weighing in on the events as they happen. (Yahoo! Studios & ABC News)

“Newsmakers Live”: Co-hosted by Yahoo! News and ABC News, Yahoo! will stream a LIVE version of the successful Yahoo! News and ABC News original video program “Newsmakers” at the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions. In Tampa and Charlotte, reporters from Yahoo! News and ABC News will moderate a discussion with the architects of the Romney and Obama campaigns before an audience of political influencers. This special event will be streamed on Yahoo! News and ABCNews.com, and will include social elements to further engage the audience at home and provide them with a front row seat to the discussions. (Yahoo! Studios & ABC News)

“Who Knew?: Convention Edition”: The Yahoo! News original program “Who Knew?” will provide two special episodes that explain long-held convention traditions. These convention editions of “Who Knew?” will explore topics like: “Why Do We Have Conventions?” and “What is the Role of The Electoral College In Deciding Elections?” (Yahoo! Studios)

Under the leadership of newly-appointed Editor-In-Chief Hillary Frey and Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian, Yahoo! News has delivered on the goals set forth in phase one of the Elections program. The elections team has delivered on its commitment to expand their original coverage and reporting from key primary states and the campaign trail. Yahoo! News also made a series of high-profile new hires including Virginia Heffernan, contributors Walter Shapiro and Jeff Greenfield, and Yahoo! News' first-ever White House correspondent, Olivier Knox. The team scored news-making interviews with all the major GOP contenders and Yahoo! — along with premier content partner ABC News — co-hosted the most watched GOP primary debate of the election season.

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