Don’t expect much from tonight’s debate. They’re so scripted that the substance is expected to be versions of the stump speech. That will leave reporters looking at how the candidates stand, sweat and look at and to the home audience. “Who won” will be the bottom line for most journalists, and most of them will decide that based on whose post-debate spin they believe.

Jay Rosen writes about how the media will cover the debates and cites one reporter whose is charting his own path. As the Miami Herald reported,

Some experienced reporters shun the spin. In fact, Adam Nagourney, The New York Times’ national political correspondent, is going to watch the debate and write his story from his office in Washington.

”I avoid Spin Alley at all costs,” he said. “I think it’s degrading for reporters and degrading for political operatives.

“What’s important to me is what the candidates say. I don’t care about anyone else.”

There are links within Rosen’s post that are worth exploring. Comparing Nagourney’s report with those of the talking heads after the debates could be elucidating.