Oral debates themselves can convey significant amounts of information to the public in a setting where many can gather round to hear what is being said and test it. There is indeed no question that this kind of debating can be useful in a given context, same with ANY form of debating. Plus, there are audience members that learn quite well through a presentation, it makes it a more personal interaction.
The biggest problem with oral debates and yes there are a few, are these:
1. While there is plenty of information to convey, not all the issues relevant to the debate topic can be fit within a small timescale and making a debate too long can wear out an audience.
2. Not every single debater is suited for this kind of debating, this requires one to be a very good speaker, articulate and not ramble. It also requires one to be constantly alert and on their toes, not to mention they must listen attentively and not lose focus.
3. The audience will not have time to check sources UNLESS the debate is conducted on Paltalk, or any media that is similar.
While I have engaged in a dialogue with NITEMARE'S DEN and DACON9, I admit I wasn't 100% prepared for the conversation with them. A written debate is my personal preference.
Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal of yourphariseefriend.com explains that with written debates, you can have all the arguments on the table and spend time putting out an argument. You can find his video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BtgWdU6vKw
A written debate allows one to think about what the other side is saying and then provide a satisfactory response. There is no limit to the arguments that you can present to the table in this context.
As cbd94 recently pointed out to me, there are disadvantages to this as well and yes, he is correct on this.
1. There is a risk of an individual just skimming through the article rather than taking the time to read
2. Not everyone can read an article for a long time and it is can be quite tiring.
3. There is no verbal communication, only written, hence there is almost a less personal interaction. Even on an open discussion forum there isn't that. (This is a point I myself concluded.)
Depending on the person, I say each to his own with respect to the issue of written or oral. To those who don't debate but like to observe them, I let you come to your own conclusion on the debate style you prefer.