PDF pending restoration
ERIC Number: ED208448
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Criteria and Format to Optimize Political Debates: An Analysis of South Dakota's "Election 80" Series.
In 1980, the Sioux Falls Area Press Association in South Dakota attempted to devise a political debate procedure and format that would serve both the candidates and the public. Involving the candidates for the first and second district congressional races and for the United States senate, the televised debates, entitled "Election 80," began with introductory statements by each of the candidates. The programs then featured a debate between the candidates, followed by a press conference, during which a panel of South Dakota journalists questioned the candidates. The programs concluded with statements by each of the candidates. To promote direct clash and effective argument, the questions approved for use in the three political debates were simple and clear and covered issues that reflected both the public's and the candidates' agendas. The candidates were also informed in advance about the subjects to be covered and were allowed to use notes and materials. So that the political candidates could be set against each other on key issues in the campaign, the press was removed from the debate phase of the program. Further modification of this debate format would provide an opportunity for the candidates to question each other and to allow reporters to follow up on initial questions directed to a candidate. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Debate Format; Media Role; South Dakota
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).