Shorenstein Center hosts panel on convention television coverage

July 30, 2000 — On the occasion of the 2000 Republican National Convention, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy hosted a panel on convention television coverage. The event took place at Philadelphia City Hall, and featured numerous news-organization and political leaders.

Much debate had emerged about the newsworthiness of the national political conventions and the amount of air time television dedicated to covering them. At the Shorenstein Center event, the panel of prominent journalists, news executives and party leaders discussed the future of on-air televised conventions and released new survey data and research on what Americans want to see at the conventions.

Led by moderator Marvin Kalb, Executive Director of the Center’s Washington office, and Center director Alex S. Jones, panelists explored the broadcast media’s decision to reduce coverage and what diminishing coverage means for our democracy. Panelists included:

  • NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw
  • CBS News president Andrew Heyward
  • CNN anchor and senior correspondent Judy Woodruff
  • ABC News Nightline correspondent Chris Bury
  • Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson
  • Democratic National Committee general chair Ed Rendell

In addition, the latest research by the Center’s Vanishing Voter Project was released and reveal new information about what the public wants to see at the conventions. Since early November, the Vanishing Voter Project had been conducting weekly surveys to assess public involvement in the 2000 campaign, including its interest in and attention to key events such as the conventions.

The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy is a research center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government dedicated to exploring the intersection of these three areas. The event is co-hosted by philanthropist Walter H. Shorenstein.