Online-only presidential debates are planned for next autumn, after a partnership between Slate Magazine, Yahoo and The Huffington Post, a political blog.

Charlie Rose, a host on US broadcaster PBS, will moderate the debates, one for Democratic candidates and one for Republicans. Yahoo’s technical expertise will be used to produce the debates, while voters will be able to post questions and opinions on the candidates.

The idea to move political debates online was formed last year after bloggers and journalists covered events at the World Economic Forum, a meeting of political and business leaders.

Those involved in organising the debate believe it presents a significant opportunity for candidates to debate using a new format and have compared it to the first televised debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.