.. . And the average cost of a debate has not changed from 1988 to present; it is still 500,000 dollars but could easily change with the number of cities increasing and the effect off debates increase. Televised Debates and Media The first televised debate occurred between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, millions of Americans tuned their televisions in and watched history in the making. People do not only see the debate they also hear commentary about the debate.

If you are someone who does not watch debates on the television will definitely read about them in the newspaper or magazines.Media interpretations follow a pattern. They devote little time to the content of the debates but much time to the personalities of the candidates and the process by which they make the decision to debate, prepare to debate, and spin the stories about expectations for and effects the debate. The media interpretations are usually in the frame work of a horse race, seeing the debate as a dramatic contest of real importance to the candidates, and expressing most interest in the question of who won? They rely a great deal on polls to answer this question. Presidential debates in the fall are usually fully covered by national networks and viewed by millions.

Debates are specified as individual news events themselves, with much emphasis on where and when they were held. The presidential debates, like the Sate of the Union message, occupy a place on the short list of American speeches that qualify as a lead story on network television news.Televised debate effects are chiefly determined whether they produced a big change in the campaign. You can also conclude that networks set up a "must win" scenario because that was the most exciting, the most consistent with their role as entertainment medium, and would improve ratings the most.

The heaviest attention of debates is on the first one; this shows that a good first impression does count. In our lazy nation today, most American citizen cast their vote on what they see on the news. It is safe to say that the media primarily control people's opinion on political issues. Unfortunately the words most developed nation don't have time to carefully pick their leaders in any level, especially the presidential race.While vast amounts of information is available to the American citizen to carefully pick their candidates, they chose to use what the see in the debates and what the media turns into their own opinion.

There are times when the media gets carried away with information; they allow their own opinion to drive them. I have found ten points that you must consider when watching a debate: First, listen to the moderator explaining the format at the outset of the debate. Two who is the debate sponsor? Third who is on the stage and who isn't; what criteria were used to select participating candidates. Fourth who asks the questions? Is there a single moderator or a panel? Fifth is there a live audience and, if so, who is it? Sixth is the subject matter confined to one area? Seventh what is the time limit, if any? Eighth is the unobtrusive or does it distract? Ninth at the end of the debate, before the commentators tell you what happened, write down your impressions? The tenth and final point see how the media cover the debate.

The Importance of Presidential Debates Debates are driving news coverage of the 2000 campaign. Perhaps the biggest event of the fall campaign is the series of nationally televised presidential debates. While there is no requirement that the presidential candidates meet in debates, it is almost impossible not to participate. If a candidate wouldn't he would be looked at blocking them for some unknown reason or they are scared of something.

We seem to be having more primary-state debates than ever before.The first televised pre-New Hampshire primary debate aired in 1976, that number grew to six in 1988, the last time neither party had an incumbent running for president. In 1992 there was three Democratic debates, in 1996 there were three Republican debates and this year there is a huge increase to a total of sixteen before the New Hampshire primary, this is one example that shows how debates are increasing. Are debates becoming too much of the voters opinion? You would think so but voters seem to prefer debates to advertisements. Al Gore decided to base his whole campaign on debates he challenged Bill Bradley to a no advertisement, only debate contest. Which would mean they would compete in debates twice a week.

The campaigns have the final word in debates. Although the campaign sets the terms, there are other interested parties. How meaningful a debate is depends on the public and the negotiations arrived to by the campaigns.A debate can reveal the candidates' positions and their differences, or it can devolve into a huge televised press conference.

Debates are high- stakes events. Especially to third party candidates. Voters who have not yet made up their mind can be won or lost depending on what happens in the debate. The drama of direct confrontation attracts a huge television audience.

The viewing of the debate ranges from 85 to 97 million people and is increasing every year. You also need to show that you are a nationally viable candidate by getting into the debates. Debates are crucial because they keep our campaigns from being about nothing but money.No matter how much money a candidate has he can never win a debate, even if he buys the best spin doctors. Conclusion In conclusion I believe that presidential debates play a vital role in shaping the opinion of the voters.

In addition, candidates can use the debates as a form to present their plans and visions for the nation. I also believe that if a candidate does not do well in a debate, then he probably won't fair very well in the final election results. Debates have become the primary source to the voter's opinion on a candidate. Bibliography Work Cited: "Where the voters are.

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Infotrac.Online. Gayle Group. April 15, 2000 Carlin, Diana. "Presidential debates as focal points for campaign arguments." Political Communication December 1992: 4.

Infotrac.Online. Gayle Group. April 15, 2000 "Commission on Presidential Debates" 2000. Election 2000 Debates Online. 15 April 2000.

"Vote America" 2000.The Debates. 15 April 2000. Kenadall, Kelly. "Presidential Debates Through Media Eyes.

" American Behavioral Scientist August 1997: 5. Infotrac. Online. Gayle Group.April 15, 2000 Morano, Marc.

"Manipulating the voters from inside spin alley." Insight on the News November 4, 1996: 1. Infotrac. Online.

Gayle Group.April 15, 2000 "Spin Doctors" 1996. 15 April 2000. Political Issues.