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Here’s a step-by-step guide to make leaders’ debates watchable

Today News || UK News

I HAVE been very disappointed in the level of competence shown by TV debate moderators and the rudeness and sheer ignorance of some of the participants.

1. Speakers are permitted to interrupt others.

2. Moderators make no attempt to stop them.


3. The points are lost in the resultant confusing gabble.

4. The public interest in what is being said encourages a turn-off of unhelpful noise.

5. Where moderators also ask questions, some questions are not answered because the interviewer asks another preventing the first from being answered.

6. Time for answers should be rationed and so should time taken to ask each question.

7. Producer bias should be banished.

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The remedies are:

1. Moderators should be retrained or sacked.

2. Programme producers should be vetted for bias.

3. All participants should have individual microphones centrally controlled.

4. A system of lights should be instituted to inform speakers when allotted times are exceeded.

5. Exceeding the agreed speaking time allowed should result in immediate microphone switch-off.

6. Interrupters should be immediately cut off until their own turn.

Such simple measures as above would improve programme quality immensely and the public would be able to discern what it was that individuals were attempting to say.

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The public would be better informed instead of being enraged.

Admittedly there are one or two good interviewers/moderators, but they are rarely employed.

Dr Lindsay Neil

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