The citizens of Jackson will have an opportunity to ask questions directly of the five candidates for the city’s top job. Jackson State Community College in partnership with WBBJ-TV will host Jackson Decides, an hour-long debate to be held on the college’s campus Thursday, April 23. The hour-long debate will be telecast live from Ayers Auditorium on WBBJ’s ABC and CBS channels beginning at 6 p.m.
‘This debate is different from anything that has been held so far,’ states John McCommon, PR coordinator for JSCC. ‘The format for the debate will be moderator driven the first half with the second half conducted as a town hall in which attendees can present their questions directly to the candidates.’ It is hoped that there will be a more active involvement of Jackson citizens in the process.
To support the production of the event, MTSU’s mobile production unit will be bringing a varsity team of 23 graduate students to produce the pre-broadcast audio and video for the televised event. Setting up a total of six cameras in the auditorium, this is, by far, the most extensive production seen on the JSCC campus.
Jackson State students along with several faculty members will be supporting the event by ushering, assisting candidates, timing responses and general setup. Abby Lackey, speech faculty and co-coordinator for the event, sees this as an excellent way for students to get practical experience in working a high-profile event and to also see firsthand how the electoral process works.
As part of its long-range marketing plan, JSCC plans to play a more active role in hosting events that cater to community involvement. McCommon states that it is a well-known fact in the JSCC community that the faculty and staff at the college are on par with other area colleges and above par in many areas. ‘It is my goal to help bring well-deserved, positive attention to the college that demonstrates to everyone else what we here at Jackson State already know: we make high quality education possible for anyone who wants it and add unparalleled value to the communities of West Tennessee.’