A coalition of twelve prominent US media organizations is pressing the presumptive presidential nominees, ahead of November's election, to confirm their participation in televised debates.

While the statement didn't specifically name Joe Biden or Donald Trump, it emphasized the importance of candidates making their debate commitments early.

Highlighting the critical significance of this year's election, the joint statement stressed the longstanding tradition of televised debates in American democracy, dating back to 1976, and the substantial viewership they garner. The signatories included major networks such as CBS News, ABC, AP, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, NBCUniversal News Group, NewsNation, NPR, PBS NewsHour, Univision, and USA Today.

Despite Mr. Trump's absence from all four Republican primary debates, he has expressed eagerness to debate President Biden. However, age-related concerns have surfaced, with Mr. Trump, 77, questioning Mr. Biden's ability to engage in debates due to his age of 81. Mr. Biden, in turn, has raised similar concerns about Mr. Trump.

While Mr. Trump has signaled his readiness to participate in a debate with Mr. Biden anytime and anywhere, the White House has hesitated to commit, citing concerns about the fairness of the debates administered by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In the lead-up to the debates scheduled for September and October, Mr. Trump's campaign has advocated for an earlier and more extensive debate schedule, citing the increasing early voting trend observed in recent elections. The 2020 debates between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump were characterized by contentious exchanges and interruptions, prompting criticism from media outlets like NPR, which described one debate as "maybe the worst presidential debate in American history." Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid, Wikimedia commons.