Link TV's new "Dear American Voter" project is using digital platforms to give the global community a voice in the upcoming election, an event that will shift the policies and direction of the entire world. Individuals can upload their video "letters" to American citizens about how they would vote in the election and why, how American policies have affected their lives, and what they think the priorities for the new Administration should be. "Dear American Voter" is a vivid example of how participatory digital media can bridge communities on a global level and provide a forum for diverse voices and opinions on history-changing events and issues.
Viewers can watch videos by region (a few examples include the Americas, Africa, and Asia Pacific) or by topics, which include discussions on America's role in the global community, peacekeeping and the global economy, to name a few. The platform enables users to not only contribute their own video content, but to also discuss the issues raised by other digital letters in online discussion forums. The "Dear American Voter" also features a daily poll and discussion forum on topics ranging from American influence on global affairs to the environment.
The digital letters emphasize that Americans have an incredible opportunity to direct the course of global poltitics for the next four years, which, as one woman from Hong Kong states, is not a universal right but a "treasure" that we should cherish:
Another video features a man from Pakistan who advises candidates on their actions and messages towards those countries that have been traditionally labeled by the U.S. as dangerous:
Other videos offer a more controversial message about American politics in the Middle East:
Link TV partnered with Deutsche Welle, one of the largest international broadcasters, and Internews Network to broadcast the videos. The project also builds off of Link's election coverage in 2004 and 2006, which also encouraged American voters to look at critical domestic and foreign policy issues.
Link TV, like the Center for Social Media, is part of a group of nonprofit organizations with a common goal: to push forward into the future of public media. In an initiative funded by the Ford Foundation, the group's work fosters experimentation to forge the public media structures and projects of tomorrow.