St. Louis Public Radio, Nine Network of Public Media and the St. Louis Beacon have combined their reporting and production power under a single umbrella to cover the campaign on radio, on television and online. They are calling the joint venture Beyond November and have created a website BeyondNovember.org and a twitter hashtag: #BeyondNov. It is believed to be the first time that three public media organizations in one town have created a joint platform to focus coverage on a particular topic.
The website launches at noon, Friday, July 20, 2012. It features breaking political news, in-depth stories — including a groundbreaking report identifying the biggest donors to Missouri’s campaigns — and a comprehensive voter’s guide for the Missouri primary on Aug. 7.
The collaboration has been seeded with a grant from the St. Louis-based Deer Creek Foundation.
“Beyond November is our way of leveraging the talent, resources and skills from three trusted institutions,” said Richard H. Weiss, managing editor for Beyond November. “In this case, the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts as we’ve already identified many creative ways to reach and inform our audiences.”
Weiss said Beyond November’s aim is to become:
- A resource that shines a light on politics and public policy issues that matter to voters in our region.
- A platform to engage citizens in an ongoing conversation about issues that concern them.
- A project to hold public officials and candidates accountable for their words and deeds during the election season and beyond.
“A key word is ‘beyond’,’’ Weiss said. “First, we are going above and beyond in terms of our coverage. But more importantly, we recognize that our coverage must go beyond horse-race politics to get at the heart of the matter: making our political leaders accountable for the positions they take and how it will influence all of our lives beyond November. So we are taking a hard look at the influence of money in politics, how the political debate can either spur or stifle progress and reform, and how we can help voters make their voices heard.”
Beyond November’s guide is unique. Unlike some guides which ask generic questions like: “Why are you running for office,” the Beyond November guide has questions pertinent to the issues of particular concern in various districts. “We do not ask one size fits all questions,” Weiss said. The guide allows voters to compare candidates side by side and to look at all measures on their particular ballots. It will also provide information about donors and voting records. Those interested in other races beyond what is on their ballots can find them in the guide as well.
For more information:
Richard H. Weiss