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Are election debates a thing of the past?

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How difficult is it to be "fair and balanced" when one side of the conversation won't return your call? What it means when candidates and elected officials stop talking with journalists about the issues that affect people’s lives.

We’ve been noticing something. It’s getting harder to get elected officials and candidates — some of them, at least — to talk to us.

There was a time when participating in debates was a given, an automatic bipartisan agreement to answer questions in the name of civic discourse. But now, especially among Republican candidates, journalists — including those of us here at KCUR — are increasingly being told "no." And that has consequences for the community’s understanding of candidates' views, and for our ability to bring the full range of voices and ideas to listeners.

Kansas City Today host Nomin Ujiyediin spoke with the host of KCUR’s Up to Date, Steve Kraske, to reflect on why this is happening and why it matters.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate

As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
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