As Election Day approaches next week, we have received several inquiries from listeners asking why they have heard some candidates on our daily program St. Louis on the Air while others have not yet been featured on the program.
While our reporters have been covering many of the races including Lt. Gov. and the Missouri 2nd Congressional race, on the talk show we have limited time. Given this we decided that the four races in which we would extend invitations to candidates were: Missouri Governor, Missouri U.S. Senate, Missouri Attorney General, and the Illinois 12th Congressional (which is an open seat currently held by Rep. Jerry Costello).
In order to keep a record of fairness, our producers Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer have reached out to all of the candidates and kept meticulous records when doing so.
The four Republican candidates confirmed before any of the Democratic candidates.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence was on the program on Monday as have the other three Republican candidates.
Democratic Senator McCaskill was scheduled to be on the program last week though she had to cancel due to the illness of her mother. She was rescheduled to be on the program on Tuesday but again had to cancel following the passing of her mother on Monday. Senator McCaskill has now been rescheduled to appear on St. Louis on the Air on Monday (the day before the election).
Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster’s campaign has not acknowledged our request for an interview after repeated attempts. IL 12th district candidate Democrat Bill Enyart was on the program last week. In the case of Governor Nixon, his campaign has virtually said there is no time. There are no active negotiations taking place to have him on the air.
We have also devoted time on the program to third party candidates including the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate, Jonathan Dine.
We are also devoting two programs this week to a discussion on the major ballot initiatives facing voters in next week’s election.
Finally, a reminder that St. Louis Public Radio will be your source on-air and on-line for full election coverage on election night.
Response from the St. Louis community and beyond has been very positive in the aftermath of announcement that St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon are exploring an alliance to better serve the community through journalism.
The non-binding letter of intent signed last week expresses a shared belief that the Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio can serve St. Louisans better together than they can separately. As a result of this action the two news organizations will begin exploring options for strengthening regional news reporting by using their individual assets in combination.
It is the perfect time for us to be embarking on this expedition seeking a new model for public service journalism. Both organizations have established reputations for delivering exceptional journalism to its audiences and, with the digital revolution transforming media, there is a historic opportunity to further establish St. Louis as a leader in journalism innovation.
We have been “test driving” some joint news reporting utilizing Rob Koenig, the Beacon’s Washington D.C. reporter, regularly sharing his observations on politics and issues with St. Louis Public Radio listeners on St. Louis on the Air, our daily local program. In the last few months, Beyond November, a comprehensive, in-depth election-coverage project that also includes collaboration with the Nine Network of Public Media, has increased the level of collaboration between our organizations.
In the announcement, we specified that the alliance discussions will be dedicated to improving the St. Louis region by:
- Advancing regional news reporting at a time when many news organizations around the nation are shrinking;
- Engaging people throughout the region and sharing reporting on air, online and in person;
- Encouraging vibrant dialogue and driving innovation with new tools in the digital age.
We also intend to continue to work in partnership with the Nine Network of Public Media and with other regional and national organizations.
While the letter of intent is non-binding, it authorizes the two organizations to share expertise with each other and develop options for a formal arrangement. We expect to conclude exploratory discussions by the beginning of 2013.
It’s an exciting time for us to begin this journey and we’ll keep you up-to-date as we progress down the road.