The FINANCIAL — The US Senate and House of Representatives have launched YouTube channels following a presidential election in which the video-sharing website played an influential role, according AFP via Yahoo! News.
Steve Grove, head of news and politics at Google-owned YouTube, announced the creation of the channels, youtube.com/senatehub, and youtube.com/househub, in a post on the YouTube blog on January 19 that also featured appearances in a YouTube video by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the chambers.
Grove said members of the US Congress would be "posting videos direct from their Washington offices, as well as clips of floor speeches and committee hearings alongside additional behind-the-scenes footage from Capitol Hill."
"The House Hub and Senate Hub are the digital equivalents of a backstage pass to your government," Grove said.
Both Democratic president-elect Barack Obama and his Republican rival John McCain made heavy use of YouTube during the presidential race, posting official campaign videos on the site and encouraging its use by supporters.
Since his November 4 election victory, Obama has also been putting his weekly addresses to the nation on YouTube.
The Senate and House hubs on YouTube each provide a map of the United States which links to a congressional representative`s individual YouTube channel, if they have one.
YouTube viewers can subscribe to a particular channel, post videos on the site or ask their legislator questions.
"Find your Senator and Representative on YouTube and make a connection … and if your elected representative doesn`t have a YouTube channel yet, give them a call or an email and encourage them to get started," Grove said.
"These YouTube channels have the potential to make Congress more transparent and accessible than ever before — but only if you continue to connect and engage with your government on the site," he added.