TV Stations Are Stepping Up to Inform Voters
You can’t turn on the TV without being reminded that it’s an election year. Around the country candidates are pounding the pavement, running hard for various seats. This November, voters will have the opportunity to elect a new president, new members of Congress and choose from thousands of state, county and local candidates for a variety of positions.
So how is a person supposed to know who all these candidates are and what they stand for? That’s where your local broadcasters come in. Local TV and radio stations are bringing political information directly to the voters.
“Free air time means agenda-free citizenship,” a blog post from TVB.org, highlights some of the ways TV stations are using their airwaves and online assets to keep voters informed, including:
- Stations in Ohio and Indiana affiliated with the Dispatch Broadcast Group will be contributing free political airtime, along with extended coverage of the conventions. They’ll also offer election-themed online content, notably Ohio’s WBNS and ONN stations’ “Candidate Match,” an interactive tool used to match a voter’s key issues and values with the most like-minded candidate.
- Hearst Television stations’ are participating in “Commitment 2012,” which includes an election app that will allow voters an “anytime/anywhere” aspect for election information. They also have an exclusive deal with PolitiFact, “the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times.” Their stations will have original segments using the website’s “Truth-O-Meter.” (Read more)
- Post-Newsweek Stations facilitate getting voter questions straight to the candidates through “Voter’s Voice.” “Voter Video Patrol” provides cameras to voters to document the issues facing their neighborhoods. “Meet the Candidate” segments are taped at the stations at no charge and run in local news. “Candidate Comparisons” is a side by side look at candidates’ positions and “Ad Watch” and “Truth Test” fact-check political ad claims.
- Scripps Television Station Group’s “Democracy 2012” program includes a Florida-centric election information website for this complicated and pivotal battleground state. They’ve also added an “Ask the Candidates” area to their overall online election coverage. Along with the Center for Responsive Politics, they’re making searchable online databases available to research and track campaign contributions.
And, like all the over-the-air programming broadcasters already offer, all of this is free to the viewer.
What about your local station? Are they doing something interesting to keep you informed during this election season? Share your comments and ideas below.