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With Election Over, Take Note of Voter Education Efforts

- TAB Launching 2018 Public Service Survey

Local broadcasters’ election coverage is a key focus of TAB’s annual Public Service Research survey which launches later this month and covers all public service activities of 2018. Stations are encouraged to take note now of all the debates you aired or hosted, the interviews you conducted with candidates and voters, the town hall meetings you held, and the news reports you aired for the primary and general elections, including local ballot initiatives.

This annual report is a hugely important tool in TAB’s advocacy before state and federal lawmakers. The data collected help demonstrate the unique role broadcasters play in the media marketplace and underscore our continuing commitment to serving the public interest.

First launched in 1998, the survey has documented more than $5.547 billion (yes, with a “B”) in public service to communities across Texas, and that’s with only 15 percent of stations participating. TAB does not extrapolate responses to account for non-participating stations, so we know the industry’s civic leadership impact is far greater.

Texas Broadcasters’ 2017 Public Service by the Numbers

  • Charitable Contributions – Broadcasters helped local charities raise more than $142 million last year and provided FREE airtime worth more than $81 million to encourage Texans to support food banks, teachers, students, schools, hospitals, animal shelters, senior citizens and more!
  • Community Challenges – Local Radio and TV stations invested nearly $18 million in special, original programming focused on fighting cancer, diabetes and human trafficking, as well as programs to encourage mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
  • Public Policy Impact – Broadcasters’ investigative reporters exposed public corruption, identified yawning public safety threats and influenced major state legislation affecting public education, criminal justice and government accountability.
  • Hurricane Harvey Recovery – Stations across the state aired more than 95,000 PSAs for the recovery effort, raising more than $58 million in cash for the recovery effort.  They dedicated more than $26.3 million in airtime and 5,148 hours of news coverage to the devastating storm

The survey is distributed electronically, and all individual responses are confidential; only aggregate statistics are reported. Responses are analyzed independently by Dr. Augie Grant, CEO of Focus25 Research and Consulting. Grant is a university researcher, mass communications expert, and former member of the TAB Board of Directors who represented educators during his time on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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