October 1, 2012
Cara Philbin, NPR


OCT 3, 11, 16 & 22, ON-AIR AND ONLINE



Continuing its extensive multimedia coverage of Election 2012, NPR News will offer live on-air and online coverage of the three Presidential debates on October 3, October 16 and October 22, and the Vice Presidential debate on October 11. The four broadcast specials will begin with each debate at 9PM (ET), and be followed by post-debate round-up and analysis from 10:30PM to 11:00PM (ET). NPR.org will offer fact-checks from its Election and Washington teams, chats and blogging to accompany a live stream of this coverage.

NPR's debate specials will air on NPR Member stations across the country; for local stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org/stations. The debates will also be streamed free and live at www.NPR.org and be available on NPR's mobile apps and mobile web.

This week, listen for debate-related coverage across all NPR News programs. Today, NPR News begins "Solve This", a multi-week series focusing on the solutions offered by President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney to major issues facing the country - from tax policy, to climate change, to poverty and immigration. Ahead of the first debate, Science Correspondent Alix Spiegel looks at the psychology behind "the pivot." When the candidates dodge questions and veer off subject, do voters notice?

All Things Considered hosts Guy Raz and Audie Cornish will rotate to guide each of the four broadcast specials, with post-debate reporting and analysis from NPR's team of political reporters from Washington and in the field. During each debate, Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and contributors E.J. Dionne and Matt Continetti will lead analysis of the conversations. Key reporting on the candidates' performances will come from White House correspondents Ari Shapiro and Scott Horsley, traveling with the campaigns at the Presidential debates in Denver, C.O., Hempstead, N.Y., and Boca Raton, FL. National Desk correspondent Debbie Elliott and Washington Desk correspondent Brian Naylor will both report from the Vice Presidential debate in Danville, K.Y.

National Political correspondents Don Gonyea and Mara Liasson will attend the debates in turn, reporting on candidates' performances and audience reception. NPR correspondents will offer concise, issue-focused analysis and fact-checking - exploring each candidate's answers to answering the questions at hand.

NPR.org is the optimal hub for the live specials, with fact-checking, interactive chat forums and extensive reporting. Beginning Wednesday, look for:

  • Live Chats: "It's All Politics" blogger Frank James leads web chats during each debate. Chats will be open early to collect questions and comments.

  • Live Blogging and Analysis: Mark Memmott of "The Two-Way" will provide of-the-moment details, featuring reporting from NPR's Election 2012 team. Follow @nprpolitics for the latest news, and to truth-squad candidates' statements with Social Media Strategist Andy Carvin @acarvin.

  • "Best Of" Round-Ups: Bloggers Memmott and Eyder Peralta will cull and analyze "best of" fact-checks from various sources following each debate. For the late-comers, reporter Alan Greenblatt pegs the five imperative take-aways of each debate in morning round-ups.
  • NPR's extensive debate coverage follows months of reporting on the 2012 presidential election across all NPR programs, at NPR.org and on mobile. All reporting is aggregated at the "Election 2012" hub: from hours of live, special coverage of the primaries, caucuses and conventions; to the two-part series "Political Ad Wars," examining the negative focus and unprecedented spending levels for presidential campaign ads, with a focus on one swing community. "The Swing State Project" further examines how national politics has shaped the political climates of the states crucial to this election; and "Money & Politics" explores the extent to which money influences elections and policy. NPR News will continue to offer original reports and information on the presidential race through Election Day, with live coverage on November 6, 2012, to be announced.