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Last Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Al Gore's youth TV gets under way
Al Gore
Al Gore has said the channel will not be a political mouthpiece
Former US Vice-President Al Gore is launching a new TV channel offering bite-sized entertainment and current affairs aimed at young people.

The US cable channel Current features 15-second to five-minute "pods" on subjects from fashion to finance plus Google's search headlines.

It also encourages its 18-34 audience to make their own TV packages.

Mr Gore, 57, the channel's chairman, said it would let viewers "engage in the dialogue of democracy".

The San Francisco-based channel launches on Monday and is available to 19 million subscription viewers.

Mr Gore, who lost out in a hard-fought presidential campaign to George W Bush in 2000, said in April this year that he wanted to "transform the television medium itself" by making it easier for viewers to get their voices heard.

We are about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s
Al Gore
Current's website will offer editing software and tutorials for viewers to post their videos on the site. A vote will pick the best ones to be shown on TV.

Mr Gore said: "We are about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s to engage in a dialogue of democracy and to tell their stories about what's going in their lives in the dominant media of our time."

Current would not be a political mouthpiece, he added.

"We have no intention of being a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, or a TV version of Air America," he said, referring to the liberal radio network.

Its "pod" segments, styled on an iPod digital music player's ability to play a wide variety of styles, wil cover topics such as technology, music, parenting and career advice.

A deal with Google will provide details of the top search topics twice an hour.

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