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Scripps Stations Expand Free Airtime Offer

Topic: Politics and Election Coverage

The E.W. Scripps Co.’s "Democracy 2012," strives to be "a one-stop shop of voter education." Stations in all 13 of the company’s TV markets will provide candidates at least five free minutes of airtime nightly between 5-11:35 p.m. in the 30 days preceding the general elections. They provide free airtime in the 30 days preceding primary elections.
Democracy 2012 includes:

  • An online portal with information on candidates’ positions, voter registration and maps of political jurisdictional boundaries;
  • ‘Ask the Candidates’ lets users submit questions and compare candidates’ answers;
  • ‘Get out the vote’ public service announcements;
  • Town hall meetings and debates during the 30 days leading up to the general election; and
  • Web-based, searchable databases that allow voters to research campaign contributions.

"Political education and discourse are a centerpiece of our local news presentation. In one of the most crucial election cycles in our lifetimes, we’re going to marinate our audience in political coverage so they’ll make fully informed choices when it comes time to vote," said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of the Scripps television division.

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