Diary

Three More Chances to Rate the Debates

Of the nearly 5,000 Americans who jumped online after last night’s first presidential debate to rate moderator PBS’ Jim Lehrer’s performance, Obama supporters vastly outnumbered McCain’s.

There are three more presidential debates, and three more chances to rate them.

While anchors and pundits were scrambling to spin the candidates’ performances after last night’s debate, the non-partisan media reform organization Free Press and media analyst Andrew Tyndall helped Americans rate the media themselves. The Tyndall Report has monitored network television news for the last 20 years.

Viewers were able to respond in real-time to Lehrer’s performance using a “Citizens Media Scorecard.” Tyndall immediately tallied users’ responses and injected the people-powered feedback into the news cycle — before media pundits and spin doctors (mis)interpret the events for their viewers. Check out the results here.

Now more than ever, we need the media to be the watchdogs of our democracy. Did they cover the issues that matter to you, or did they focus on candidate gossip and campaign gotchas? Did they hold the candidates accountable, asking tough questions, or did they lob softball questions?

Debates are marquee media moments in American elections. The few journalists selected to participate — and the media narrative that follows — play a major role in determining our next president. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hold our future leaders — and the media who cover them — accountable. Check out RatetheDebates.org