Light, Not Heat

Last Updated by Tom Axtell on
Tom Axtell
Tom Axtell, General Manager

Election years are the years when public service media organizations like Vegas PBS have a special responsibility. Our airwaves are not consumed by factually questionable personal attack ads. Donors and candidates tell us they appreciate our commitment to devoting extended periods of time to nonpartisan calm discussion of issues and candidates. An election year mission of public broadcasting is to add light, not heat to the top issues of the day to stimulate the civil discourse and thoughtful analysis that leads to a more informed electorate.

Throughout 2016, there will be a major national PBS focus on joint TV, radio and Internet programming partnerships to better serve you. PBS will again provide live coverage of the early primaries and caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday; the Republican and Democratic conventions this summer; the general election debates this fall – including the final debate of the season here at UNLV in Las Vegas; election night; and inauguration day one year from now.

In addition to coverage of key political events, series like PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, Washington Week and Charlie Rose will produce town halls, documentaries and primetime specials to illuminate the critical issues of the campaign. Current planned productions examine a year in the life of the U.S. economy, America’s changing demographics, gun control and its impact on police departments, the minimum wage, the shrinking middle class, and more.

In addition to broadcast and cable programs, Vegas PBS will add an election hub on our website with news, information and video from local and national PBS sources. PBS LearningMedia will provide classroom teachers with election-related resources and lesson plans that provide nonpartisan historical context for the issues of the campaigns. We will also experiment with new ways for you to engage on social media to stay connected to the issues that matter to you. Follow #electionPBS for the latest news.

Locally, we again plan to host a series of debates related to closely-contested federal, state and local elections. Jon Ralston will continue to deliver interviews, commentary and analysis in his popular nightly program, Ralston Live, now at 7 p.m. immediately following PBS NewsHour. He has already interviewed nine presidential candidates with more in the queue!

Our year of political coverage kicks off on January 12 with the 2016 State of the Union address. Issue-related programming continues on January 14 with School Matters, our call-in program addressing current K-12 education topics.

Thank you for your commitment to supporting broadcast, cable, online and classroom programming that educates and informs the voters in Southern Nevada during this election year and beyond.

General Manager
Tom Axtell

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