Mass Comm 139: Prof. Craig: Second Debate Assignment, Part 1

Second Debate Assignment, Part 1


The second presidential debate of the 2016 general election campaign, between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, will be held Sunday evening, October 9.  It will be carried on all the major news networks and widely available for viewing online.  It will be done in a "town hall" format, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by the audience (made up of undecided voters) and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. The moderators will be Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC.

Your assignment is as follows. 

  1. BEFORE watching the debate, you will make a list of five or more things you expect to see from each candidate in the debate.  These may include:
    * Subjects they will emphasize
    * Attacks they will make against their opponent
    * Policies or issues on which they will defend themselves
    * References to the first debate or the VP debate
    Feel free to include any expectations that don't fit into these categories.  You may read up on the debate beforehand and use that material to help reach your conclusions. 

  2. You will watch the debate in its entirety.  You DO NOT have to watch it live -- you can stream it later at your convenience.  However, you may not read or watch any post-debate commentary or analysis before viewing it, or before completing the assignment.  

  3. You will take notes on the debate, paying close attention to the following:
    * Both candidates' general performance (strengths and weaknesses)
    * Both candidates' seeming grasp of facts
    * Any mistakes or gaffes you believe either candidate makes
    * Any other pivotal moments you perceive

Please bring your list of expectations and your notes on the event to Monday morning's class -- you won't need anything formally written up yet.  I'll assign Part 2 during Monday's class, and the whole thing will be due via email by the start of Wednesday's class.