WRAL To Air U.S. Senate Candidates Opinions

WRAL To Air U.S. Senate Candidates’ Opinions
2002 Primary’s Candidates & Issues Forum

WRAL-TV once again offered a forum for political candidates; “Candidates & Issues” gives candidates a chance to share their opinions on major issues. Now the station waits only for the Supreme Court to decide on a primary date before the segments hit the airwaves during its newscasts. The “Candidates & Issues” spots have also been compiled in a 30-minute program slated to begin running on WRAL’s NewsChannel this week.

For the upcoming primary WRAL-TV chose to focus on the candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by the retiring Jesse Helms. To narrow down the field to be filmed for television, WRAL-TV used an Elon College poll to qualify the candidates who scored 10% or higher on name recognition. The slate of sixteen candidates was culled to eight through this process, and seven of those accepted WRAL’s offer to film a two-minute segment.

Each candidate shot his or her segment at the WRAL Studios and addressed the issues of education, the economy, and a subject of his or her choice. The only rule, candidates were not allowed to refer to one another in the spots.

WRAL.com got into the action this year by launching a forum for visitors to the site to submit their choices of topics they would like to see the candidates address. Users chose from a list of topics from everything from homeland security to campaign finance reform to health care.

The seven U.S. Senate candidates who qualified for and taped spots for the “Candidates & Issues” campaign include Democrats Dan Blue, Erskine Bowles, Cynthia Brown, Elaine Marshall and David Tidwell and Republicans Elizabeth Dole and Jim Snyder.

A 30-minute program featuring all 21 messages from these candidates has been compiled for running on the WRAL NewsChannel. Messages will also be available on WRAL.com. The segments will begin running during the WRAL newscasts approximately five weeks before the primary, when that date is set. The segments are also set to run on Capitol Broadcasting owned stations WJZY-TV in Charlotte, WILM-TV in Wilmington, WRAZ-TV in Durham and on the radio at WRAL-FM in Raleigh. WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, not affiliated with CBC, also plans to run the spots.

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