PBS NewsHour Presidential Debate

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Join PBS NewsHour for coverage and commentary on the first presidential debate Monday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. Listen to NPR coverage on WOUB-FM or online at Watch the debates online at this link. 

The debate will be held at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York and will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate.

To mark the start of the 2016 general election debates, PBS NewsHour and Microsoft have partnered to launch, an interactive civic education and voter engagement site that provides access to every general election debate since 1960. WatchTheDebates allows visitors the ability to screen entire debates and highlights, track specific issues over the years, and interact with the content using online voting tools from Microsoft Pulse. This platform enhances an existing civic education partnership between PBS and the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“Fifty-six years ago, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participated in the first televised general election debate. The black and white footage of these historic conversations provides the first chapter in the wonderful tutorial that the PBS NewsHour and Microsoft have crafted,” said Janet Brown, Executive Director of the Commission for Presidential Debates. “ invites those new to presidential debates and those who have watched them for many cycles to learn about candidates and issues, connect presidential elections over time, and participate in an online conversation via Microsoft Pulse. We are grateful to PBS NewsHour and Microsoft for using modern technology to bring television history to the 2016 debates.”

Since the first televised presidential debate in 1960, these events have been integral to the American democratic process and the leading forum for serious discussion of current affairs.Today, for the first time, these debates are being organized and made available in one place for the American public in an online forum.

“As Americans prepare to sit down and watch this year’s historic presidential debates, I’m delighted that the PBS NewsHour can offer the public a chance to dive in and explore the many fascinating moments of past presidential debates,” said Sara Just, PBS NewsHour Executive Producer and WETA SVP. “These are seminal moments in U.S. history and an important step in our democratic process and now available as an interactive resource from public media for all to experience.”

Dan’l Lewin, Corporate Vice President for Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft, added, “Microsoft believes technology has great potential to improve citizens’ engagement in the democratic process. We are excited to have helped create to provide a platform for citizens to become more informed about past and present presidential debates and relevant information around key issues.” gives access to an array of content from PBS NewsHour and engagement tools from Microsoft, including:

Livestreams of the four 2016 general election debates
Full debate footage from 39 previously broadcast debates
Online rating and audience engagement of previous and this year’s debates, powered by Microsoft Pulse
Highlight reels of memorable moments from all televised debates fromm 1960-2016
Issue-based reels looking at the evolution of key policy and political issues through the years