Sara Mason

Comprehensive Election Coverage
By Sara Mason

PEG access organizations have been a resource for presenting the candidates and issues and for making sure their communities are well informed before hitting the voter’s box since the start of PEG and community access programming.

Community media centers often serve as the only source of local news and information, according to a January 2013 press release from the Alliance for Community Media. The press release posted the results of a survey of more than 200 member organizations’ 2012 election program offerings. Participating centers represented a mix of public, educational, and governmental non-commercial cable channels from around the country, including urban and rural centers.

The survey presented the following key findings:

  • Eighty-five percent of community media centers produced and/or aired 2012 election programming.
  • The most common reason for not producing or airing election programming was lack of staff and resources.
  • Fifty-two percent of responding centers aired ten or more hours of 2012 election coverage.
  • Of the elections covered, 95 percent of centers carried local election programming, 74 percent provided state election programming, and 33 percent aired national election programming.
  • The vast majority of responding centers relied on three programming formats for election coverage:  candidate debates, candidate interviews, and town hall/candidate forums.
  • More than 75 percent of community media centers collaborated with other organizations to offer election programming, with the League of Women Voters, Local Chambers of Commerce, local community colleges and universities most often cited as key partners.

Election coverage by community media centers and access organizations is an invaluable asset to the cities, towns, and districts they serve. Unfortunately, as stated above, the most common reason for not producing or airing election programming was the lack of staff and resources. After learning this, I couldn’t help but think of the ways in which LEIGHTRONIX products and services could alleviate some of the extra strain on staff during times, such as elections, that often increase the volume of programming produced by these organizations. Below is a quick list of solutions our products and services provide that could be used during elections to help provide the comprehensive coverage that’s needed when broadcasting and even streaming programming, without adding extra strain on an access center’s staff.  Further, the community and access organizations that are already using LEIGHTRONIX products and services can use many of the solutions below without the need for any extra resources.

PEGcast for Next to Live Election Coverage

If you’d like to offer remote coverage of an election related event and provide viewers immediate access to that programming by broadcasting on your cable channel, consider PEGcasting™. With the PEGvault-SD™, a specialized digital video recorder that integrates flawlessly with a user’s broadcast workflow, PEGcasting provides viewers with Next to Live™ coverage of events and allows them to feel a part of an event’s proceedings even when they can’t be on location. This Next to Live solution allows users to broadcast content from a remote site with as little as a two minute delay.

For more details on how to use PEGcasting as a means to provide your community Next to Live coverage, visit our PEGcasting page.

 Live Stream Election Coverage Online

Meet viewers where they are by live streaming vital election coverage online. Users of this approach can provide a live stream of their broadcast channel for those who may not have access to their home television, or access to cable television while election coverage is being broadcast. Users could also provide a live stream on location allowing viewers to immediately view coverage at events such as debates, candidate interviews, or town hall meetings as they are occurring before they are scheduled for rebroadcast on their local access/community channel.

For more information on how you can provide viewers with a live stream of election coverage online, visit our streaming page.

Offer Election Coverage Online On-Demand

Help your viewers to stay informed even if they can’t watch election coverage on your broadcast channel or view your live stream. Instead they can catch up online, at their own convenience, by watching video-on-demand streaming. With a LEIGHTRONIX video-on-demand streaming solution, you can allow viewers to watch your organization’s published content when it’s most convenient for them. Users can also add index points to programming so viewers can jump to topics of interest, organize election coverage on specific topics or candidates in easy to navigate folders, provide links to resources that support the information covered, and more.

For more information on how you can use video-on-demand to provide viewers with convenient access to election coverage online, visit our streaming page.

Expand the Audience of Local Election Events with a Point-to-Point Broadcast

Easily expand a local event’s audience beyond those people physically at the event by providing a live Point-to-Point broadcast to a second location, or even multiple locations throughout your community. For example, maybe your local debates are held in an auditorium that only seats 150 people. You could either use a Point-to-Point broadcast to spillover rooms located in the same building or provide a live broadcast to locations throughout your community that can easily accommodate a large audience, such as a high school gymnasium. Making accommodations that allow your community to gather and watch an event together allows them to feel like they are a part of the event and offers the opportunity for valuable discussion time before and after the event.

Our Point-to-Point solution allows users to stream a remote event by feeding the video signal into the IncodeX One™, which encodes the video for a Point-to-Point broadcast. The IncodeX One delivers the video stream over a dedicated LAN/WAN to a high quality decoder which decodes the H.264 video and displays it live on a projection screen or monitors for larger audiences to watch.

For more information on this solution, visit our Point-to-Point broadcasting page.

Provide Overlays of Election Information & Results

Let viewers know when important coverage is going to be aired or keep them informed on election night as results roll in by providing graphic overlays on top of broadcast digital programming. NEXUS® series video servers provide integrated video messaging features that make it easy to create professional looking digital bulletin boards and text/graphic overlays for scheduled or immediate display on your NEXUS server’s digital video playback channels. Users could create custom digital video slide shows that highlight candidates and/or other election related topics, and even create election specific bugs to be displayed on all election related programming.

For more information on this solution, visit our “Digital Bulletin Boards/Overlays” page.

Today, with the aid of broadcast technology, PEG access organizations have the opportunity to do even more when it comes to providing comprehensive election coverage to their viewers. On top of pre-election coverage, several PEG and community access organizations act as the go-to place to find the most updated results on elections within their community, both on election night and the days following. Whether you are providing live coverage on election night or during events leading up to it, or you simply want to provide viewers with updates as election results roll in, I know you’ll find that LEIGHTRONIX solutions can help to make offering your community top-notch election coverage even easier.

Sara, a vital member of the LEIGHTRONIX sales team for over 13 years, manages the inside sales team and works on key accounts. She has also provided the invaluable service of regular webinars, teaching both customers and dealers how to best utilize LEIGHTRONIX products and services.

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