Senator Bernie Sanders is now a figurehead of the Democratic Party, and is well known for the passion with which he advocates for universal healthcare in America. Now, Sanders announced he would host a national town hall (for non-Americans, that’s a debate format in which many voices can make themselves heard, with relaxed moderation, following a presentation) on the topic, which will only be show through online channels. Sanders expects more people to engage online than would have on TV, even on such a prestigious channel as CNN.
In fact, Sanders recounts how he tried to pitch the idea of a national town hall to influential TV journalists, and how the format would simply get lost in the haze, with channels seeming uninterested in actually enabling such a discussion. Not one to shy away from taking matters into his own hands, Sanders took the idea to online only platforms with which he had previously worked very well – Young Turks, Attn. and NowThis. These channels responded very well to the idea, and things got rolling. The town hall will take place on January 23rd, in the evening (time to be announced soon), and will be 90 minutes long.
The structure of the town hall will be comprised of three parts – an overview of the current situation of healthcare in the US, a presentation on single payer healthcare and its economic implications, and one segment showcasing examples of implementation of this healthcare systems in other countries.
Senator Bernie Sanders stated that this move towards an online-only medium is partly a response to a perceived domination of mainstream media by powerful channels on the Republican side. Progressive democrats are trying to realign their expectations of what traditional media channels can accomplish for them, and shift towards the media already preferred by their target demographics.