Hofstra Experts In the News Lawrence Herbert School of Communication

Audience-Free Debate

The New York Times

Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication , spoke with The New York Times about CNN’s decision to host a debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders that featured no live audience due to concerns about coronavirus spread.

Dean Lukasiewicz, a former news executive who has produced live coverage of 10 presidential debates and four presidential elections, noted that the idea of a debate without a live audience was not considered during his time at NBC News.

“All of us — the networks, the parties and the candidates — became invested over the years in making debates bigger and splashier every cycle,” Mr. Lukasiewicz said. “There’s no question that we let substance and content suffer.”

“It would be nice,” he added, if the audience-less CNN debate “showed us all there’s a better, simpler, older way.” Read more.

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