Any advice? These discussions often take the form of a panel, where people debate the merits of a policy, finding, or research approach. Other journalists will hector you about the "only right way" to do the job. Because I have moderated two general election debates -- in 2004 and 2008 -- I know better than to carp from the sidelines. They raise questions about the party affiliations of the questioners. Ask all persons present to be seated. They try to put the imprint of bias on the forehead of anyone on the other side of the podium. Please check your inbox to confirm. The below version was converted to HTML by Jed Hartman; since this version is not an official WisCon publication, nor is it on the WisCon website, I removed specific references to WisCon and WisCon … It goes without saying that gaming the moderators is part of the deal. If something heated or interesting comes up you should make sure to give the candidate who was not initially asked the chance to respond. Nov 24 You need someone to act as a timekeeper - a person who just times each candidate and holds up a big red sign in the candidates field of vision when their time is up (a 5s warning is nice too). Suffice to say this is as tough a job as I have ever had, and I wish only the best for the moderators who will take the stage. If people are likely to get snippy, review, The biggest thing is to be nearly invisible. I don't have any input into the structure of the debate. Except I had not asked about AIDS in Africa. If someone is complaining about the question or the questioner rather than providing an answer, they’re usually trying to change the subject. But for viewers settling in with their pre-debate popcorn and wine, my only advice is watch carefully and give those hardworking moderators a break. Separating them out into broad themes ("big issue" topics, the budget, roads, the sewage treatment plant, the tire fire that's been burning for 40 years, etc...) can help keep things more organized. Chasing candidates around the table for answers they did not have seemed a waste of precious time. For me, debates are hard to follow when they become a grabbag of random topics. It … Tips on moderating a political debate October 14, 2015 12:09 PM Subscribe. here are a few more tips based on my (one) experience: the decorum rules in Robert's Rules of Order. Primary debates don't count. What every moderator wants to be able to do is pull a “Tim Russert.” The late Meet the Press moderator earned his reputation for being a tough interlocutor, because he studied. Subscribe to ‘Here's the Deal,’ our politics newsletter. It means writing, and rewriting, and rephrasing. How the Cherokee Nation has curtailed the pandemic, Read In 2008, they questioned me over a book I hadn’t even finished writing. Usually, each debate participant has a set amount of time to respond to each question, and the moderator has a set amount of time after that to facilitate follow-up discussion. The audience is actively involved and has the benefit of asking interesting questions. You have to work on your questions, keep track of the time each candidate gets and whose turn it is for a follow-up. Candidates research the moderators’ work extensively. It means writing, and rewriting, and rephrasing. You're voting for president, not moderator. Debate, in an academic sense, is a disciplined form of arguing toward a person or team of people. The Senate Intelligence Committee has released it's long-awaited report on the connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives in 2016. As a panel moderator, asking insightful and interesting questions is your biggest responsibilities, don’t make up your mind about the topic, rather come in with the perspective that you are intensely interested in the topic and want to gain insights by questioning the panelists. Europe signs $102M deal to bring space trash home, Read I've never done this before. Problems with FBI surveillance extended far beyond probe of Trump campaign, Justice Dept. He anticipated the rote, scripted answer to come, and always had a “so how do you pay for that?” follow-up in his hip pocket.