WEEK/HOI-ABC engages in candidate debates to inform the community before elections each year.
The general guidelines for the debates are detailed below:
The process for selecting candidates is based largely on the rulings and findings of the Federal Communications Commission and other bodies.
The criteria for participation include whether a candidate:
- Received significant levels of public support in independent public opinion polls, e.g. 15 percent, which is the minimum used by the Commission on Presidential Debates;
- Has received substantial campaign contributions from varied sources;
- Has previously held significant public office(s)
- Has received a substantial level of votes in prior elections for the same or comparable office(s);
- Will be reported by news agencies in election night returns; and
- Has received significant news coverage from a wide range of media outlets.
The FCC and other bodies grant stations the right to exercise good faith news judgment in determining which candidates participate in televised debates, and to use reasonable news judgment in reaching such decisions, with the intent neither to promote a candidate nor to create a disadvantage for a candidate.