Identify false information online. Train staff to better distinguish between accurate and inaccurate information online to ensure trustworthy news reports. Resources for journalists are available at firstdraftnews.org.
Partner with fact-checking organizations to verify the statements made by candidates. Ask viewers and listeners to submit statements, topics and issues they want fact-checked. The Society of Professional Journalists provides fact-checking resources at journaliststoolbox.org.
Host conversations between candidates and voters. Invite candidates to answer questions from voters and host virtual debates. Air the discussions during newscasts, on your station’s website and social media.
Help voters understand all sides of ballot and referendum issues. Host discussions with experts offering nonpartisan information.
Run candidate profiles. Inform voters about their Election Day choices by airing regular profiles on those running for office. Make candidate profiles easily accessible and comparable from your station’s website and link to resources like votesmart.org.
Sponsor or host a debate. Debates inform voters on where local candidates stand on the issues. Stream all debates and let your audience submit questions through social media. For information, visit the Commission on Presidential Debates’ at debates.org.
Feature debate highlights in newscasts and online video segments. Provide post-debate analysis.
Touch base with your state broadcast association. They may be able to partner with your station on debates in statewide races, such as Senate and gubernatorial seats.
Plan a debate watching party. Bring together members of your community virtually to watch and discuss scheduled debates. Broadcast or stream these discussions live or edit them for newscasts and online video clips to provide voter perspectives.
Join the conversation. Post questions and encourage discussion on your station’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Keep it real-time. Update social media frequently. Go live on your social media platforms when covering debates, candidate interviews and polling places on Election Day.
Get creative. Post photos, videos and infographics. Develop creative, unique hashtags to use throughout your election coverage.
Join the conversation. Post questions and encourage discussion on your station’s social media accounts, including Facebook and Snapchat.
Make it interactive. During debates and candidate interviews, allow listeners and viewers to share their questions and reactions through social media. Invite local candidates to take part in a special Twitter chat or virtual town hall.
PSAs are a great way to share messages about the importance of voter turnout. On-air talent can read the scripts below or tailor them for your market.
Your voice, your vote: 10
Your vote is your voice. And it has the power to make our democracy stronger. Vote on November 3 and let your voice be heard. This is a public service announcement from (STATION).
For the people: 15
Our democracy is a government of the people, for the people. Let’s keep it that way. Vote on (November 3). Get registered. Learn the issues. Cast your vote. It’s that simple. This is a public service announcement from (STATION).
Every vote counts: 20
Need a reason to vote? How about lots of reasons: health care, education, jobs, the environment or national security. When it comes to the issues that affect Americans, every vote counts. Cast your vote on (November 3). It’s your chance to make a difference. Learn more at (STATION ELECTION URL or vote411.org). This is a public service announcement from (STATION).
It’s personal: 20
Elections aren’t about the candidates. They’re about you. Want to have a say in what happens to your country? Your state? Your community? Your family? Your future? You have a personal stake in the upcoming elections. Register to vote. Learn the issues. Cast your ballot on November 3. This is a public service announcement from (STATION).