Candidates for the upcoming 2012 elections will be eligible for free airtime and free Web time in the 30 days preceding the general elections.
Post-Newsweek Stations, in preparation for the 2012 elections, announced plans to make free airtime available to candidates on its six television stations: WDIV Detroit; KPRC Houston; WPLG Miami; WKMG Orlando, Fla.; WJXT Jacksonville, Fla.; and KSAT San Antonio, Texas. Post-Newsweek Stations are located in the key battlegrounds states of Florida, Texas and Michigan. In addition to the presidential race, each of these states has important senatorial and congressional races that will be decided by voters in the 2012 elections.
“Post-Newsweek Stations have a long-standing history of providing comprehensive election coverage in the communities we serve,” said Alan Frank, president, Post-Newsweek Stations. “The 2012 elections are of critical importance, both locally and nationally. Our responsibility as news and public affairs leaders is to ensure that candidates and voters have a platform for rigorous public discussion and debate. We are committed to using our entire station resources, both on-air and on-line, to engage our viewers throughout the election process and to provide the information and context necessary to help them make the most informed decisions.”
The company said the focal point of Post-Newsweek Stations’ election coverage will be to “facilitate open and honest communication between candidates and voters through a variety of innovative on-air and online initiatives.” The key elements are as follows:
- In a continuation of the television group’s ground-breaking program, Post-Newsweek Stations will offer free airtime and free Web time opportunities to candidates in the 30 days preceding the general elections. The free airtime will give candidates a unique ability to directly address and describe why voters should cast their vote for them.
- Each station will devote at least 10 minutes per weekday to locally produced political news coverage during the political season. The coverage will continue throughout the entire broadcast day from the all-important early morning news to the early evening and late newscasts.
- Stations will look for opportunities allowing candidates to participate in on-air debates and community-driven town hall meetings televised on the stations during key time-periods and live-streamed video on the stations’ websites.
- Internet sites operated by Post-Newsweek Stations will feature comprehensive election related material with a high-profile political section featuring candidate biographies, political blogs, streaming video and The Ultimate Voter Guide.
- Public service announcements encouraging voting participation in the election will be given priority clearance in each station’s inventory of public service announcements throughout the election season.
Post-Newsweek Stations’ 2012 election coverage will also include a variety of unique political features in newscasts, special public affairs programming and interactive content on station websites. These special initiatives are designed to help gauge the views and opinions of voters on important issues in their communities. These features include:
- Voter’s Voice, allowing viewers to ask questions directly to candidates through the stations.
- Voter Video Patrol, giving cameras to voters to take into their neighborhoods and document issues facing their communities to show candidates what voters are concerned about.
- Ad Watch and Truth Test, checking the facts on political ad claims.
- Candidate Comparisons, comparing candidates’ history and political positions side by side.
In the 2010 elections, over 150 candidates participated in Post-Newsweek Stations’ program offering free airtime on the group’s broadcast stations across the country.