Post-Newsweek Stations Offer Free Airtime to Candidates for 2012 Elections

DETROIT: Post-Newsweek stations have announced plans to make free airtime available to candidates on its six broadcast television stations in the key battlegrounds states of Florida, Texas and Michigan. In addition to the presidential race, each of these states has senatorial and congressional races up for grabs in 2012.

The strategy includes free air and web time to candidates in the 30 days preceding the general election. 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 broadcast day with features and public affairs specials.

Post-Newsweek said its stations “will look for opportunities allowing candidates to participate in on-air debates and community-driven town hall meetings” to be televised in “key time periods” and streamed live on station websites. Internet sites operated by Post-Newsweek stations also will feature candidate biographies, political blogs, streaming video and an “ultimate voter guide.”

Other features of the initiative include an interactive Voter’s Voice feature allowing viewers to ask questions of the candidates; a Voter Video Patrol by which the stations put cameras into the hands of viewers to document issues affecting their neighborhoods; fact-checking of political ad claims; and comparisons of candidates positions and histories.