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How Would You Run the Debates?

The New York Times posed an interesting question on its Op-Ed pages yesterday. It asked new-media gurus if they could run the presidential candidate debates:

What would a real new-media debate look like?

The Op-Ed page editors writing of the recent YouTube/CNN debate said:

…the format was still basically the same one that’s been used for nearly 50 years: candidates standing on a stage, answering questions selected by the news media during a made-for-television broadcast.

As someone who ran the Minnesota Public Radio public journalism program, figuring out how to run public events, debates and deliberation was always a challenge.

Now here I am deeply interested in new media and am struggling to answer the question:

What would a real new-media debate look like?

Got any suggestions?

2 Responses to “How Would You Run the Debates?”

  1. gary Says:

    Debates can only tell you so much. You also need an easy way to compare the candidates on the issues….

    And to be honest, the debates so far have told me very little…too much emphasis on sock puppets and too little on nuclear proliferation, the debt, etc.


  2. Leonard Witt Says:

    Hi Gary:

    After a night’s slept I was thinking about what might be the best way to run a new media debate. The answer is I don’t know, but rather than the NYTimes just turning to a few experts, why not open it up as a challenge to the public to come up with its own workable idea.

    By the way, you have a nifty site at: . It’s really a good way to quickly check out candidates opinions on big issues.