Sacramento Television Coverage of the November 2004 General Election

In the fall of 2004, the Sacramento Media Group (SMG) − an association of concerned citizens including members of California Common Cause, the League of Women Voters Sacramento and Access Sacramento, the local public access cable television − joined a national campaign to evaluate how fairly and effectively local broadcast television stations used the public airwaves to educate voters about candidates and issues. The national campaign, coordinated by the Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition (PIPA), tried to convince broadcasters nationwide to air two hours per week of locally produced election coverage in prime time (5:30 -11:35 p.m.) during the six weeks prior to Election Day 2004. The two-hour standard represents approximately 5 percent of total prime-time hours.