Season Seven of PBS12 Original Student Debate Tournament, Both Sides of the Story, premieres October 1

Denver (September 30, 2021) – Tomorrow, on October 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m., PBS12 will premiere season seven of our original student debate tournament, Both Sides of the Story, kicking off a 12-episode format that provides a consolation bracket that gives each of the eight students from eight metro Denver-area schools three debate opportunities over the course of the season. A new twist to the competition will be debate themes including environmental issues facing Colorado and the world with similar themes featured in the semifinal and championship rounds.

The tournament, conceived in 2014 by PBS12 Station Manager and host of Colorado Inside Out Dominic Dezzutti, has evolved from four schools competing and now includes judging panels from the community who will offer questions to the students and will select each winner. CBS4’s Alan Gionet returns as the host and, like in past years, the competing students will not learn which side of the debate they will argue until a coin toss just prior to starting.

“As a debate aficionado myself, Both Sides of the Story is near and dear to my heart,” said Dezzutti. “We continue to be in awe of our students and we are very excited to be able to continue to shine a spotlight on their amazing talent.”

“I’ve always viewed intelligence as the ability to grasp and understand both sides of an argument. These speech and debate kids are doing what there’s too little of today and doing it well. Adults would be wise to watch and learn,” said Alan Gionet, Both Sides of the Story’s host. “How about some positive energy, paired with informed reasoned argument? I’m thrilled to be part of this program. We are having so much fun meeting intelligent, fantastic young people. The future looks bright.”

Each episode will feature a one-minute introduction of each student, getting to know them and their school. Participating schools include Cherry Creek, Eagle Crest, George Washington, Denver East, Holy Family, Mountain Vista, and two students from the Denver Urban Debate League, one from Rangeview and one from Hinkley High Schools. The tournament begins on October 1 and runs through December 17th.

The show will broadcast on Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and will be available to livestream at and will be available on-demand at