Posts tagged ‘public service’
Each holiday season, local broadcasters focus their efforts on bringing their communities together by giving back to those in need. Stations dedicate air time and resources to organize fundraisers, food drives and toy drives to ensure viewers have a happy holiday.
Through this commitment from local broadcasters and the eagerness of our neighbors to give back, thousands of families are able to celebrate the holiday season with presents under the tree, warm clothing or a family dinner.
Local broadcasters – television and radio stations – are among the largest public service contributors, generating more than $10.3 billion in public service activity in a single year.
From Philadelphia TV station WPVI’s Dunkin’ Donuts Holiday Food Drive, which is striving to provide more than 175,000 meals to residents, to Lancaster, Pa., station WGAL’s “Coats for Kids” coat drive and telethon, which raised $229,000, local broadcasters are dedicated to helping the less fortunate in their communities, especially during the holidays.
Visit your local broadcast TV stations’ website to see what you can do to make a difference this holiday season.
When you hear “political contributions” you probably think of money given to candidates. But broadcasters’ view their political contributions differently—as a way to serve the voters in their communities during an election year by educating them with debates, information and more.
Local broadcasters remain the number-one source of local news, giving stations a key role in increasing civic engagement in the electoral process.
Here are just a few examples of local broadcasters’ efforts to educate and engage voters before the upcoming elections:
- In Hawaii, KHNL-TV and KGMB-TV Honolulu televised a mayoral debate. Candidates debated a variety of issues, and current mayor Peter Carlisle also fielded questions and comments related to his job performance over the past term.
- Voters in Myrtle Beach, S.C., are in a brand-new congressional district in 2012 and have a number of candidates from both political parties to learn about. In June, stations aired debates between the Republican candidates one night and the Democrat candidates another evening. This October, WBTW-TV will air a third debate with the nominees from both parties.
- Of course the biggest election this November is the presidential election. NBC News is partnering with Telemundo to cover the presidential race. “Decision 2012″ will include joint monthly polls, coverage of the campaigns and conventions, and events focused on the role of the Hispanic vote, estimated at 22 million eligible voters. The partnership provides Telemundo access to NBC News’ political content and gives NBC News the benefit of Telemundo’s expertise in the Hispanic community.
And, like all the over-the-air programming broadcasters already offer, all of this election information is provided free to the viewer. Because of broadcasters’ efforts, voters go to the polls more informed about the issues and candidates, which contributes to a stronger democracy.
The beginning of June marked the official start of hurricane season, and once again, local radio and television stations are ready to keep their communities safe and informed wherever and whenever weather emergencies strike.
Ten members of Congress delivered statements on the House floor acknowledging the vital role that broadcasters play during severe weather emergencies by providing early warnings and disaster relief when the unthinkable happens.
The following members delivered statements (view video of members’ statements):
Reps. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), Hansen Clarke (MI-13), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Billy Long (MO-07), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), Ted Poe (TX-02), Laura Richardson (CA-37), David Scott (GA-13), Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Todd Young (IN-09).
In addition, four members submitted statements to the Congressional Record:
Even Federal Emergency Management Association administrator Craig Fugate has acknowledged that broadcast radio and TV is the best way to stay up-to-date on severe weather information when disaster strikes. And broadcasters are now poised to deliver this lifesaving information to Americans on the go.
There are more than 100 TV stations nationwide delivering mobile signals to smartphones and tablets, and several models of smartphones feature broadcast radio. Because broadcast signals are sent “over the air,” even when cell towers are congested or down, local broadcasters are able to reach mass audiences with critical information through smartphones and tablets. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you this summer, and don’t forget to tune into your local broadcast stations to get all the information you need to stay safe.
The bad news is that June 1 marks the start of hurricane season. The good news, however, is that you can stay safe by tuning in to your local TV and radio stations to get critical emergency information. And many of you can tune in on the go using your smartphone or tablet, even if power lines are down and cell networks are congested.
How is that possible? More stations than ever before are broadcasting mobile channels. Mobile TV is delivered from your local stations to your mobile device using over-the-air technology, not wireless networks. Not only does that mean you can still receive local emergency information even when cell towers are down, but it also means there are no additional data streaming charges.
Your phone will need to be enabled with a chip – check here to see if your device already has those capabilities built-in. If it is not, consumers in many areas can purchase a USB flash drive-sized mobile TV receiver for their laptop or tablet, like the DTV111 from Coby Electronics. Watch this short video to get a glimpse of how this technology works.
Radio-enabled mobile phones provide another way for consumers to get vital emergency information when storms are looming. Again, even when cell towers are down or congested, radio-enabled phones are able to receive local broadcasts over-the-air, keeping you informed and safe. For a list of radio-enabled phones from major wireless carriers, click here.
Broadcasters take their role as first informers very seriously and local stations around the country are innovating to keep viewers safe and meet your needs of on-demand information.
Remember, when the storms roll in your local broadcasters will help you stay safe and stay informed!
In times of weather emergencies you need immediate access to information that will keep you and your family safe. And more than anywhere else, Americans turn to their local TV and radio stations to keep them informed.
Broadcasters understand better than anyone that seconds count when a storm is approaching. As first informers, local TV stations around the country are innovating to keep viewers safe and meet your needs of on-demand information.
One station, KWCH in Kansas, is an excellent example of the hard work of stations to deliver critical information in emergency situations. Incorporating Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps for news and weather, and of course over-the-air AND live-streaming free and local TV, KWCH brings information to viewers in numerous ways to keep people safe and save lives.
Watch what it takes to quickly pull all the information together in real time and keep viewers up-to-date on changing weather conditions.
Tell us—how do you stay informed during times of an emergency? Have local radio and TV been a lifeline for you?
Your great-uncle may always know it’s going to rain because of the twinge he gets in his knee, but broadcasters need to take a little more scientific approach to the daily weather report.
New technologies are being debuted at this year’s NAB Show, many of them inspired by viewers just like you! These weather technology innovations include:
- More realistic 3D and virtual graphics.
- Closer integration of graphics engines with speedy data analysis.
- Improved speed and resolution of mapping and radar data.
- Hyperlocal and social media features added to storm tracking systems.
- A new product that combines traffic and weather visuals.
What do you think? Which one of these new technologies interest or intrigue you the most? Is there anything you would add?
Your local TV and radio broadcasters take their role as first informers very seriously – whether that’s alerting you to take an umbrella when you head out of the house, or alerting you to take cover because a tornado is fast approaching.
Stations are constantly innovating to deliver the critical information you need… anytime and everywhere you are. Stay tuned as the future of TV unfolds!
Guzzler. Hog. Pig. No, we’re not talking about gas pumps, but rather the potential for huge data bills with some of the new tablet devices on the market that are swallowing up data from cellular networks at a monstrous rate, especially those that connect using the 4G network.
We’ve mentioned new devices that will deliver TV to the palm of your hand with already built-in TV tuners and antennas (and therefore not using up your monthly data allotment in one day!), but did you know that there are other ways to get your local news and entertainment on the go?
More than 100 stations are broadcasting directly to mobile devices, with more coming online all the time. Anywhere you go, you’ll be able to watch your favorite programs, the local football game or check out the weather forecast. It’s hyperlocal content the way you want to receive it. And if your device has a USB port (like your laptop, netbook, etc.) you can also purchase an external dongle. A dongle (not much bigger than a flashdrive) merely connects to your computer allowing you to receive mobile optimized broadcast video for free.
So for those who are budget conscious (and who isn’t these days?) and concerned about using too much data, broadcasters are working daily on new and innovative technologies to continue bringing you the information and entertainment you seek and rely on every day for free.
Spring may bring April showers and May flowers, but it can also bring some devastating weather. When tornadoes recently tore through communities in the Southeast and Midwest, local TV and radio stations were there to help keep their viewers and listeners safe every step of the way.
Viewers of KY3-TV reported they first received a text alert [warning a tornado was coming] from the TV station in the middle of the night, and turned to the station’s website for live radar. One viewer said after turning on the TV, ‘you were the only ones on the air. You saved my life.’”
After the storms, broadcasters swung into action to support their communities. Country music star Rodney Atkins partnered with local radio station WRIL in Pineville, Ky., to broadcast a concert –on local radio to raise funds for towns in Kentucky and Tennessee that had been devastated by the storms. WTHR-TV in Indianapolis and their viewers helped raise more than $500,000 for relief funds after tornadoes ripped through Indiana. And the list goes on and on. Even broadcasters not directly impacted by the tornadoes have pitched in to help.
WGAL-TV in Pennsylvania covers the area of Lancaster, Harrisburg, York and Lebanon. When they noticed that a number of towns in the Midwest that had been hit hard had the same name as towns in their area, they “decided to launch [a] fundraising drive to support the American Red Cross in its work to bring relief to those who lost so much in these ‘sister towns.’”
Local TV and radio broadcasters are a lifeline for their communities before, during and after times of crisis . For critical information to stay safe during an emergency, turn to those who are always on and always there for you.
We’ve mentioned before the various ways broadcasters are working to keep viewers informed and prepared for the upcoming elections – and now there’s another exciting new political show on your TV.
News correspondent Armando Guzman has been tapped to host a new weekly political public affairs show from Entravision Communications, “Perspectiva Nacional con Armando Guzman.”
“Each week, the program will highlight the most pressing political news, issues and events impacting the U.S. Hispanic community. The show will include experts from the political arena who will discuss and provide insights into the critical issues that are important to the Latino community, with a heightened focus on the upcoming elections.”
The show launched on March 11, 2012 and airs Sundays at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Univision affiliate stations in Connecticut, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas, Florida, California, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington, D.C.
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.