Hearst Television has renewed its partnership with the
campaign fact-checking website PolitiFact. The Hearst group and PolitiFact,
which is part of the Tampa Bay Times,
kicked off their partnership in January 2012, resulting in weekly fact-checking
reports throughout the Hearst TV group. Hearst TV's Washington bureau also
produced segments on PolitiFact's "Truth-O-Meter" franchise related
to the presidential campaign.
David Barrett, chairman and CEO of Hearst TV, says the
alliance means vigorous political coverage even during relatively quiet periods
in the election cycle. "Increasingly, politics never sleeps, and
television broadcasters do an outstanding job covering the issues year-in and
year-out," he said. "These latest efforts reflect our own continuing
commitment to ensure that legislators and regulators whose decisions impact our
communities will get a forum, and that their statements and activities will
receive the analysis they warrant."
Additionally, Hearst is launching a series of town hall
discussions throughout New Hampshire called "Leaders Listen," to be
live streamed on WMUR.com and covered in WMUR's newscasts.
Local broadcasters were cited in a recent Pew Research study
for increasing their coverage of traffic, weather and sports, at the expense of
meatier topics such as local politics. Hearst TV works to counter that trend.
The station group's Commitment 2012 initiative featured, among other things,
250 hours of political coverage last year, and 69 debates and political
specials on its 25 news-producing stations.
Bill Adair, PolitiFact editor, said the outfit
was "thrilled" to re-up with Hearst TV. "The need to hold
politicians accountable doesn't end with election day," he said. "Our
Truth-O-Meter fact-checking is as important when politicians are governing as
it is when they are campaigning."