Forum Airing Sunday, October 23, at 7:00 pm EDT Across NowThis Social Channels on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Ahead of the pivotal 2022 midterm elections, NowThis announced a forum with President Joe Biden — his first with young people as president — to air across NowThis social channels on Sunday, October 23, at 7:00 pm EDT.
Moderated by NowThis senior correspondent Alejandro Alba, the forum — taped on Tuesday, October 18 — features President Biden in conversation with young people leading on six key issues animating them this election cycle: abortion access, trans rights, criminal justice reform, gun safety, economic instability, and climate injustice.
As the leading news outlet on social media and the number one news outlet on TikTok, with 9 million followers on the platform [Platform Analytics, September 2022], NowThis has a strong understanding of the issues that young audiences care about, making it a destination for high-profile candidates and leaders in Washington. The forum will run in its entirety across NowThis’ TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook channels, to be followed by additional highlights and coverage across all social platforms, including Snapchat. The transcript will be available in its entirety upon request from credentialed members of the media after the forum airs.
“This is an important opportunity for NowThis audiences to see young people like themselves in conversation with President Biden and to hear him directly address the issues they care most deeply about,” said NowThis Publisher Athan Stephanopoulos. “We’re thrilled to bring this rare event to our large, young audience directly on the social platforms where they spend their time ahead of this pivotal election.”
During the forum, Biden confirmed for the first time that he supports a federal fund to help women pay for abortion, while in conversation with medical resident Dr. Danielle Mathisen:
Dr. Danielle Mathisen: “On a more personal note, I had to travel about 600 miles and leave my family behind and spend thousands of dollars to get abortion care for my own very wanted and very loved pregnancy in the wake of Roe. Some companies are offering funding and services for trips like this. Would you support a federal fund for individuals like myself who need to take time off work, obtain childcare care?”
President Biden: “The answer is absolutely ... I do support that, and I’ve publicly urged companies to do that. I’ve urged them publicly as president of the United States saying, ‘This is what you should be doing...I urge you to do it because there’s so many, and imagine the women who need that kind of assistance, but have no money at all to be able to do this. None. How, how — what do they do? They don’t have the option.”
President Biden will be in conversation with the following individuals about topics that matter to them:
Dr. Danielle Mathisen (Honolulu, HI), Age 26. Abortion Access: Dr. Danielle Mathisen is a Hawaii-based first-year medical resident pursuing a career in obstetrics and gynecology. She began her career as a medical student at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, where there was limited training on how to perform an abortion during her OB/GYN rotation. Danielle is committed to exploring how best to provide well-rounded health care to patients in her home state of Texas, where she believes harsh restrictions on abortion do a great disservice to patients, medical professionals, and the community at large.
Dylan Mulvaney (San Diego, CA), Age 25. Trans Rights: Dylan Mulvaney began documenting her gender transition on TikTok the day she came out to her friends and family. After more than 200 days posting about her experience to her now 8 million followers, she’s learned more about the ways in which her community has been targeted, and has become a committed advocate.
Joshika Kumaran (Edison, NJ), Age 20. Economic Instability: Joshika Kumaran is a college student and the daughter of immigrants from a low-income background. Her parents were laid off from their jobs during the pandemic, and her brother is currently suffering from a malignant brain tumor. While she has to take out an increasing amount of loans, she plans to avail herself of the student loan relief program in the hopes that it will help ease her family’s financial burden.
Jon-Adrian “JJ” Velazquez (New York, NY), Age 46. Criminal Justice Reform: The son of a police officer, JJ Velazquez grew up believing in the criminal justice system. But when he was 22 years old, he was misidentified, arrested, and charged with the murder of a retired police officer. JJ maintained his innocence and was granted clemency in 2021 after more than 20 years in prison. Now he works to reform the system from the outside.
Natalie Barden (Sandy Hook, CT), Age 20. Gun Safety: Natalie Barden lost her brother Daniel at Sandy Hook Elementary 10 years ago, a loss that she still feels every day. Now a student at Emerson University, she often says it’s hard for her to feel safe. An advocate for meaningful gun legislation, she’s hopeful for a future where no family will have to experience a loss like hers.
Mari Copeny (Flint, MI), Age 15. Climate Injustice: Mari Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint,” put an international spotlight on Flint, Michigan, when she was only eight years old by making videos about the problem with drinking water in her community. Now at 15, Mari wants to turn the nation’s attention to ensuring there’s clean water in every community.
NowThis audiences’ top three most engaged-with issues in 2022 thus far are abortion access, gun safety, and trans rights. In addition, NowThis audiences are deeply engaged with coverage of the climate crisis — its coverage on the NowThis Earth channels has racked up more than 350 million views in 2022 thus far. [Platform Analytics, September 2022].
Sixty-two percent of NowThis’ audience on Instagram is under 35, 71% of its audience on TikTok is under 34, and 90% of its audience on Snapchat is under 35. [Platform Analytics, August 2022].
During the last election cycle in 2020, NowThis interviewed every major candidate for president, including now-President Joe Biden, now-Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Its series “20 Questions for 2020” was the recipient of a 2020 Webby Award.
NowThis’ mission is to make news engaging and relevant for young adults by humanizing our complicated world. NowThis is the number one most-viewed News & Politics Digital Publisher across Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter [Tubular Labs, U.S.- Based Digital Publishers, June 2022], and the leading news brand and one of the most followed overall publishers on TikTok, with 9M followers [Platform Analytics, September 2022]. Launched in 2012, NowThis has revolutionized how news today is consumed; its entertaining, inspiring, and informative videos receive over 1.4B monthly views [Platform Analytics, January 2021]. NowThis has won an Academy Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Cannes Lions Award. In 2022, NowThis joined Vox Media.