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Debate Moderators Discuss Campaign Trail

PBS’s Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill, and CNN’s Candy Crowley spoke on a panel last night at an event sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Newseum. The three journalists, who have significant experience reporting on presidential campaigns, offered their insights into the 2012 election and discussed their work on the campaign trail.

Crowley, who moderated the second presidential debate last week, commented on her live “fact-checking moment” and the important role listening plays in moderating a high-stakes debate.

“There is nothing more important than listening,” Crowley said. “If you are not listening to the answer, you are not having a conversation.”

“The other thing that makes you listen is complete terror that you’re going to miss something,” Ifill added. “It’s a real special skill that is learned and acquired. You can tell the difference when you watch people do interviews who are not listening to the answers.”

Panelists discussed the how differing political opinions can exist together. “The other party becomes the other – people you don’t know. Familiarity does bring, I think, the opportunity, for people to work together and work on problems,” Woodruff said.


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