ERIC Number: ED239318
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-11
Reference Count: 0
Political Debate Formats: The Next Step.
Noting the enormous potential of political debates to serve both the candidates and the public, this paper argues that debate procedure and format should be improved so as to achieve a more harmonious relationship between debate and politics. The first section of the paper examines the role and impact of debates in contemporary political campaigns, specifically the presendential campaigns of 1976 and 1980. The second section argues that debate could contribute more to politics, and blames flaws in procedure and format for its failure to do so. Noting that most political debates resemble press conferences more than debates, this section reviews the series of debates held in South Dakota in 1980 known as "Election 80," which sought to implement and test procedure and format in terms of specific criteria. The third section of the paper sets forth the following recommendations for improving political debate procedure and format: (1) the issue agendas used in political debates should be the public's and the candidates', not the media's; (2) questions to the candidates by the media should be phrased simply and clearly; (3)candidates should be told the topics in advance and should be allowed to use notes and other materials; and (4)the role the media play in political debates must be substantially altered. (FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Debate Formats; Media Role
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).