Presidential Debates: Risky Business on the Campaign Trail

Presidential Debates: Risky Business on the Campaign Trail

by Alan Schroeder

Paperback(third edition)

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Alan Schroeder's big-picture history recounts the phenomenon of American televised presidential debates and its evolution over the past half century. From pundits to political operatives, from debate moderators to the viewing public, Presidential Debates reveals how the various stakeholders make and experience this powerful event. For this third edition, Schroeder analyzes the presidential debates of 2008 and 2012 and the crucial role that social media and contemporary news outlets had in shaping their design and reception. He also expands his coverage of previous campaigns, including the landmark meetings in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Schroeder details an insider's view of the key phases of the debate: anticipation, in which the campaigns negotiate rules, formulate strategy, and steer press coverage; execution, in which the candidates, moderators, panelists, and television professionals create and project the event; and reaction, in which the commentators, spin doctors, and viewers evaluate the performance and move story lines in new directions. New chapters focus on real-time debate responses and the extent to which postdebate news coverage influences voters' decision making and candidates' behavior.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231170574
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Edition description: third edition
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Alan Schroeder is a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and has worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat. He is the author of Writing and Producing Television News: From Newsroom to Air (2009) and Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House (2004).

Table of Contents

Introduction: The First Presidential Debate
Part I. Anticipation
1. The Predebate Debate
2. Predebate Strategy
3. Candidate Preparation
4. Predebate News Coverage
Part II. Execution
5. The Debaters
6. The Questioners
7. The Productions
Part III. Reaction
8. Social Media and Real-Time Reactions
9. Postdebate News Coverage
10. Debates and Voters
Conclusion: The Globalization of an American Tradition
Schedule of Televised Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates, 1960–2012
Selected Bibliography

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