Citizens' Voice is a platform for people-driven news and opinion. Be the opinion leader. Write and submit an 800-word op-ed with a one sentence bio and head shot.
Journalist Naomi Wolf offers some useful guidelines for writing an op-ed - Read More
by Steve Aufrecht
Jeremy Lansman, KYES owner, has offered Alaskan politicians free airtime for 30 second spots. He's motivated by a life long interest in how radio and TV affect democracy and by the uneven power to impact elections unleashed by Citizens United.... Jeremy Lansman, the owner of KYES television in Anchorage, has announced that his station will air free political ads from candidates listed with the Alaska Division of Elections.
Each candidate is invited to make 30 second video spots. Lansman is allocating 10% of his commercial ad time to this project. That comes to about two videos per hour. If two candidates send him videos, that air time will be divided by the two equally. If 30 respond, the available space will be divided evenly among all 30 of them.
This is a new project and the mechanics will evolve as he finds out the response. Candidates can turn in more than one video, or new ones as time goes by. Any changes will be made in the next weekly schedule.
His motivation comes, in part, from his lifelong interest in using radio and television to promote the democratic process. Lansman is something of a legend among those who know about community radio in the US. You can read about more about his past here.
The free TV time is stimulated now by the threat of huge amounts of money anonymously spent on ads to attack candidates that seems to be the most talked about outcome of the Supreme Court's 2010 decision Citizens United.
Through cable and satellite, Lansman’s station, Channel 5, can be seen throughout Alaska except in the Fairbanks area. When I asked him whether there were other TV stations that did this, he said he didn’t know of any.
You can see more information at the KYES website and listen to Lansman discussing how this will work
In the spirit of full disclosure, Lansman is a friend of mine, whose knowledge of broadcast technology, regulation, and impact on democracy constantly fascinate and amaze me.
Steve is a University of Alaska Anchorage Professor Emeritus and now spends his time discovering what's happening, documenting it, and trying to show the world a little differently on his blog "What Do I Know?"