On-Air Highlights

New debate series to air on witf 89.5 and 93.3 FM

Written by witf.org, | Feb 26, 2013 9:45 AM

Rising above the noise of emotion and misinformation, witf 89.5 and 93.3 FM presents “Intelligence Squared U.S.,” a one-hour debate series held at the Kaufman Center in New York City.

More often than not, it seems like important issues are dominated by anything other than facts. “Intelligence Squared U.S.” attempts to raise the level of public discourse on key issues. IQ2US is modeled on the British program “Intelligence Squared.” IQ2US is an Oxford-style debate that is provocative, intellectually rich, humorous, and dramatic.

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IQ2US’ debate format is different from what we would consider a typical debate model. For each debate a motion is proposed. Then, two panelists argue for the motion and two argue against it, with a moderator controlling the proceedings. After the formal arguments, the debate is open to the floor for questions, triggering a lively interchange among the speakers and audience members. Each side attempts to persuade the audience to vote their way.

This adversarial context is electric, adding drama and excitement. The live audience votes on the motion before and after hearing the arguments, to measure how far people have actually been swayed. Those votes are tallied and a clear winner is announced at the end of each show.

Panelists change with each debate to reflect well informed individuals to talk about their side of the motion. IQ2US is regularly moderated by John Donvan. Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News’ Nightline. He has served over a career of more than two decades in the following capacities for ABC News: chief White House correspondent, chief Moscow correspondent, Amman bureau chief, Jerusalem correspondent and correspondent for the ABC News magazine “Turning Point.”

This series is produced by the Intelligence Squared U.S. Foundation with major support from The Rosenkranz Foundation.

IQ2US now airs on witf FM as part of a new schedule with news and information programming. You can hear this occasional series on witf FM at 7 p.m. on the last Sunday of every month. Occasionally debates will also be broadcast on witf TV. Check witf ’s monthly TV listings or witf's weekly “Program Points” e-newsletter for details on the broadcast schedule.

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