Capitol Broadcasting Company Offers Free Air Time For Political Candidates
As part of Capitol Broadcasting Company’s commitment to its role as a good corporate citizen and a holder of the public trust, CBC will be airing free political spots for five major Campaign 2000 gubernatorial candidates. These two-minute spots, which began to air on Saturday, April 1, 2000, are shown during the noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts on weekdays, and on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts on weekends. They will be shown on WRAL TV5 & FOX50 in the Triangle, NC, on WJZY in Charlotte, NC and on WILM in Wilmington, NC.
The purpose of the spots is to show voters where each candidate stands on important issues of the day. Before taping, candidates had to agree to follow a set of guidelines designed to ensure fairness and positive debate. Each of the five major gubernatorial candidates came to WRAL-TV5’s studio and gave two-minute responses to questions about the lottery, the Smart Start program for preschool children and a third subject of their choice. The only rule was that they could not attack their opponents.
This effort is being looked upon as an experiment, part of the broader effort to reform politics. Television has often been accused, not always fairly, of contributing to the problems of the political system. Hopefully, with this small step, television can begin to become part of the solution to fixing a system that most will agree doesn’t work the way it was originally envisioned to work.
The News and Observer Newspaper ran a more in-depth story covering CBC’s efforts on Friday, March 31.