RTNDF funds b'cast, Net political coverage


The Radio & Television News Directors Foundation will provide resources
to 10 local TV stations to experiment with 2002 political coverage -- including
online -- of the 2002 political campaigns and elections.

Participating stations will be given resources for research and Web-site
templates to monitor local political advertisements, candidate issue grids,
voter-registration forms and online chats with candidates.

Partnering in the effort with the RTNDF is The Annenberg Public Policy Center of
the University of Pennsylvania, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

"This project will help stations to better integrate their television and
Internet news coverage to serve diverse audiences in their local communities,"
RTNDF president Barbara Cochran said.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of The Annenberg Public Policy Center, said
the project seeks to find a balance that will work for two important categories
of Web users and TV viewers: "Stations face the challenge of appealing to both
the politically savvy, older TV viewers who don't feel comfortable using the
Web and the Web-savvy younger Internet users who are less interested in
politics," she said.

Stations participating are WFAA-TV Dallas; KCNC-TV Denver; KCCI-TV Des
Moines, Iowa; WCCO-TV Minneapolis; KTVU(TV) Oakland, Calif.; WKMG-TV Orlando,
Fla.; WTAE-TV Pittsburgh; WCAU-TV Philadelphia; KGW(TV) Portland, Ore.; and
KELO-TV Sioux Falls, S.D.