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Indybay Feature
TV Industry Challenged to Open Campaign Airwaves
by Fred Richardson/Texans for Public Justice (fredr [at] tpj.org)
Thursday Sep 14th, 2000 3:25 PM
Today the Alliance for Better Campaigns is kicking off a grassroots campaign to get the attention of irresponsible broadcasters.
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<CENTER><h1>TV INDUSTRY CHALLENGED TO OPEN CAMPAIGN AIRWAVES</H1></center>
<P>September 14, 2000</P>
<p><b>Texans for Public Justice</b> is pleased to be working with the
<b>Alliance for Better Campaigns</b> and a national coalition of groups
challenging the television industry to open the airwaves to more than
just money in Campaign 2000.</P>
<p>Each year candidates raise millions of dollars in special interest money that they hand over to broadcasters to pay for 30-second ads. <b>While our democracy goes on the auction block, television stations will rake in up to $1 billion from the 2000 election.</b> Meantime, most broadcasters have ignored a proposal to open the airwaves to brief nightly segments in which candidates discuss issues.<p>
<P>We want broadcasters to show candidates speaking for themselves, about the issues. What little TV coverage of elections there is usually focuses on the horse race: polls, gaffes, and strategy. No matter what party you belong to--Republican, Democrat, Green, Reform, or some other--if you think your party is right on the issues, you have an interest in seeing the candidates <b>talking about the issues.</b></p>
<p>The broadcasters don't own the airwaves. <b>You do.</b> The public lends the industry billions of dollars worth of its airwaves, free of charge, in return for its pledge to serve the public interest. But the vast majority of broadcasters don't live up to their pledge. They meet the letter of the law by running public service announcements late at night, when the value of airtime is rock bottom.</p>
<P>Profiteering on democracy shouldn't be part of the deal. <b>Today the
Alliance for Better Campaigns is kicking off a grassroots campaign to get the attention of irresponsible broadcasters.</b> There are plenty of them in Texas. Visit the Alliance's new website
GREEDYTV and/or call toll free <b>1-866-GREEDYTV </b>to
find out how your local station stacks up, and what you can do about it.</P>
<p>If you'd like to volunteer for the campaign in the Dallas/Fort Worth,
Houston, San Antonio or Austin areas, please contact <a href="mailto:"fredr [at] tpj.org><b>Fred Richardson,</b>
director of the Alliance's Texas Chapter, at <b>512.472.9770.</b>
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