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Political Debates and Exclusivity

Here’s a commentary by  Austin journalist Diane Holloway about why the Texas debate for governor was barely seen or noted in Texas.

“We’re not allowed to air live, not allowed to tape-delay, not allowed to put it on video-on-demand or in its entirety on the Web site,” fumed News 8 news director Kevin Benz. “It’s our journalistic obligation to make this political discourse available to the largest number of people. I don’t think any of us are well-served by this kind of limitation.”

Devlin dismisses such criticism: “There were lots of proposals from other outlets for debates, and ours prevailed. Maybe it’s sour grapes.”

Let me guess; Perry’s camp stonewalled all the other formats except for this one. My solution: rather than let a private media service control a debate, create a consortium and allow any networks wishing to broadcast it split the costs. How expensive can it be to televise a live event like this anyway? Certainly not over $10,000.

Next time, we’ll videotape generous excerpts and stuff everything on youtube.

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