[eDebate] Help wanted and announcement

Ross K. Smith smithr
Wed Sep 6 22:39:18 CDT 2006

As a way to build support for academic debate by showcasing our talent, 
and as a project to fill a gaping void in the media, Tim O?Donnell and I 
have founded DebateScoop, and Allan Louden is the principal academic editor.

DebateScoop is a one-stop cyberspace source for electoral political 
debate coverage in the United States. Scholars in debate and 
communication studies will bring their insights to bear on political 
debates in real time for the purpose of improving public understanding 
of debate. A team of expert debate judges will contribute regular 
commentary to a Scoop-based weblog to track candidate debates.

Contributors will write substantive commentary before, during, and after 
house, senate, and gubernatorial debates and will contribute 
meta-analysis regarding what counts as ?good debating? plus commentaries 
on formats, strategies, negotiations, and post-debate spin. Audio and 
video links will be included as well as a standard set of links to 
political debate resources.

www.DebateScoop.org is a blog built on the Scoop platform (powerful 
community blogging software used by DailyKos and others). It allows 
anyone to register and post comments or start their own threads known as 
diaries. A user recommendation system gives prominence to recent highly 
recommended diaries. The blog will also have ?front page? authors. These 
are people who have permissions set to post directly to the center column.

We expect this site to be quite prominent since it is one of a kind and 
there is no existing magazine or other media source solely focused on 
political debates. This fall is our debut (very soon).  The next two 
months will serve as a ?beta test? so we can be fully ramped up for the 
next election cycle. Between cycles there are issues debates to be 
covered as well as special and off-year elections. Plus, we can have 
theory articles on things like formats, negotiating, spin etc.

While the site is not advertised yet, it is viewable and you can go 
ahead and register there.

That?s where ya?ll come in. You are invited to join the DebateScoop 
team. We have no money for salaries, but besides being intrinsically fun 
and interesting, working with us is good for the resume and will get 
your name out into the national political/media arena where folks might 
then seek you out.

Here are the kinds of roles we have:

Fellows: These spots are for people with prior publishing and/or 
teaching experience in political debate and political communication. 
Most were once in the competitive debate sphere. The ?old? folks like me 
would recognize names like Ed Hinck, Mike Pfau, John Morello, Tom 
Hollihan and others who are already signed on. In many cases these 
individuals literally ?wrote the book? on political debates. But you may 
be an up and coming scholar and/or know someone whom we should invite. 
If so, contact us

Contributors: Debate coaches, judges or alums who have a strong debate 
background even if they are not academics with the narrowly defined 
scholarship record of the fellows. I know that many of my colleagues 
fall into this category ? people who are political junkies and good at 
debate. These people can contribute not only background pieces, but also 
front page ?judgment pieces? on debates.

Staff Writers: Debaters, coaches or alums who can turn out quick, 
well-researched background pieces and updates. We want to have articles 
covering the background of races, the media coverage, the blogosphere 
reaction, etc.

Staff Assistants: Debaters, coaches or alums who can provide research, 
technical, writing and press assistance involving such tasks as: 
tracking down debate schedules and video and audio; coordinate written 
content; communicating with campaigns and media outlets; playing with 
website software; editing and more.

You name it: do you have an idea for a role that we may not have 
considered? Want a different job title? It?s negotiable. Let us know.

If you are interested in participating in the project let me know.

Ross K. Smith
Debate Coach
Wake Forest University


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