ERIC Number: ED210750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The League of Women Voters: Sponsorship, Promotion and Definition of Public Political Debate.
Decker, Warren D.
The League of Women Voters is a nonprofit organization that, among other functions, helps voters learn more about issues, candidates, registration, and other election procedures. The most visible function performed by the League's Education Fund in recent years has been the sponsorship of the presidential debates. The League maintains that the debates have increased voter interest in the presidential election campaigns, increased voter participation in the elections, and promoted informed decision making on the part of the electorate. Toward these ends the League has worked to overcome the following obstacles: (1) the reluctance of candidates to participate, (2) the various regulations governing the utilization of the mass media for coverage of the debates, and (3) the costs associated with sponsoring the debates. League accomplishments include the promotion of the presidential debates, a selection procedure for the moderators and panelists that is equitable and allows for the selection of a cross section of journalists from a variety of media, and a debate format that has remained basically the same over the past two campaigns. The potential for change in the debates is somewhat limited, but might include the use of nonjournalists as questioners, the inclusion of more rebuttal time, and the use of cross examination. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: League of Women Voters; Presidential Campaigns; Presidential Debates
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).