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Debate 2012 - October 16, 2012

A Guide to the Presidential Debate and Pride, Politics & Policy Education and Event Series

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Public Debate Watches

A Viewer’s Guide to Televised Debate

Pre-Debate Viewing Panel
Hofstra University
The John Cranford Adams Playhouse
South Campus

Is how presidential candidates look more important than what they say? How important are zingers? Do fact-checking and twitter feeds change the debate experience?

Presidential debates are often surrounded by drama. Millions of Americans tune in to watch their next leader in action. Millions more around the world join that audience. Do the debates influence the way we vote? Have presidential candidates always participated in debates, and what can we expect during the debates? As critical viewers, what should we look for in judging this media event?

A panel discussion featuring communication experts will take place just prior to the simulcast of the presidential debate at Hofstra University. Speakers will offer techniques for evaluating the debate as a form of persuasion and as a television program in an ever-changing media landscape.

The debate simulcast will begin immediately following the panel discussion.


  • Susan Drucker, Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations - Hofstra University
  • Dr. Mary Kahl, Professor and Chair of Communication - Indiana State University
  • Gary Gumpert, Emeritus Professor of Communication - Queens College of the City University of New York
  • Kelly Fincham, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations - Hofstra University
  • Matthew Sobnosky, Associate Professor of Speech Communication, Rhetoric, Performance Studies - Hofstra University