The debate will focus solely on issues facing Oregon’s rural residents.
“The Oregon Territory SPJ believes it is important to have an honest and open exchange at the highest levels about the state’s future in rural areas,” said Oregon SPJ President Samantha Swindler. “With more than a month between this debate and election day, we hope the issues raised will help give voters enough time to learn where the two major candidates stand on a range of rural issues, from the environment to education to the economy.
“Having the two major candidates participate in this important discussion is, in our view, good for the entire state, and we thank Governor Brown and Dr. Pierce for agreeing to this important discussion,” Swindler added.
Oregon SPJ will host the debate in partnership with The East Oregonian, KTVZ-TV and Jefferson Public Radio. The Oregon SPJ Board sought these distinguished media partners out as they represent some of the best journalism dedicated to serving rural Oregon.
“In helping facilitate this important discussion, the SPJ is turning to the journalists who do an amazing job every day in rural communities,” Swindler said. “We are thrilled to have the panelists for this debate come from The East Oregonian, KTVZ and Jefferson Public Radio.”
The Oregon SPJ is now also looking for media partners based in Portland, and hopes to have an announcement soon on additional partners.
The hour-long debate will be a moderator-panelist format in front of a live audience. Candidates will get 90 seconds for opening statements, then will field questions from the panel made solely of rural journalists. Candidates will get 60 seconds to respond, with a 30-second rebuttal period. Each candidate will be provided with a 90-second closing.
Oregon SPJ will ensure the debate is distributed in the metro Portland and Salem markets by partnering with media groups in those areas. The location for the debate has not yet been finalized. Both those announcements will come by mid-August.
The Oregon Territory SPJ Chapter, which represents journalists throughout the state of Oregon and Vancouver, Wash., is dedicated to strengthening journalism and government transparency.
For more information, contact Sam Swindler at 503-812-8992, or John Sepulvado at 971-803-9300.
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