On Tuesday 25 February, the House of Lords Communications Committee will take evidence from the U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates and experts on leaders' debates around the world, in the second evidence session of its inquiry into broadcast General Election debates.
The UK held its first broadcast leaders' debates in 2010 and the Lords Communications Committee is looking into different models for how they might be operated and run in the future.
The idea has been floated by some that the debates should be overseen by a third party, as is the case in the United States, where a Commission sponsors and produces the Presidential Debates. The U.S. political and broadcast regulatory context is, however, very different to that in the U.K., and so the Committee will explore what lessons, if any, can be learnt for the U.K. from the U.S. experience of broadcasting debates since 1960.
The evidence sessions will take place via video link on Tuesday 25 February from 3.30pm in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster.
At 3.30 pm
- Janet Brown, Executive Director for the Commission on Presidential Debates
At 4.15 pm
- Professor William Wheatley, Jr., Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, and former Executive Vice President of NBC News
At 5.00 pm
- Professor Alan Schroeder, School of Journalism, Northeastern University