Earlier this year, when six Republicans ran for county commissioner with no Democrats as contenders, KLCB-AM in Libby, Mont., hosted all the candidates for an open discussion to help community members make an informed vote. The station aired the more than two-hour meeting live from the Lincoln County Public Library, where the candidates were asked questions from the audience, as well as questions listeners had submitted to the station. During the general election, the station plans to invite local candidates to its studio for debates and to take call-in questions from listeners once again. From local elections to city council meetings to senate field hearings, the two-person staff at KLCB makes sure information that affects the community is accessible to all Kootenai Valley residents. "We try really hard to keep locally important material on the air," said KLCB’s Duane Williams.
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More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.