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WQOW Political Transparency: A note from our news director

A note from our news director ahead of the 2020 election:

As I write this, the 2020 political election is nearly 10 months away. As it was in 2016, it is expected Wisconsin and Eau Claire will become a political hot spot as candidates come to our fair state to gain the voter’s favor.

Right now, there are 16 candidates running for the presidential office. Many of these people are already on the road campaigning across the country and it is only a matter of time before they come to western Wisconsin.

Here is our promise to you. When a candidate comes to our region, regardless of their political affiliation, we will:

  • Stream the campaign speeches on Facebook, the WQOW news app and/or on our website.
  • Report on the visit and what the candidate says. This coverage will be on social media, on our website, in our app and in our newscasts. This reporting will include fact checks for candidates.
  • Provide coverage of issues surrounding the visit as necessary. For example, any expected traffic congestion or road closures, as well as protestors. We will also report on any costs that may be passed on to you, the taxpayer.
  • Speak with those who are there to support the candidate.

One thing we will not do for these campaign events is air the entire events live on TV.

(It is important to note that this policy does not include national speeches such as the State of the Union address that are carried live by ABC or speeches by President Trump that are delivered here locally that are about policy changes or initiatives.)

Here is why we’re making this decision and telling you, our viewer:

  • We want you to know what to expect when a candidate comes to town.
  • We want you to know we plan to treat all the candidates equally.
  • With so many candidates, airing all their speeches could dramatically cut into your ability to watch your favorite ABC shows (Bachelor fans I’m talking to you).
  • If you want to watch the speech in its entirety, you can still do that on other platforms listed above, such as wqow.com and the WQOW news app.
  • We want you to hold us accountable. If we stray from this plan, my phone number is below.

When the nomination process is finalized for the Republican and Democratic parties, we may revisit this decision. We will follow this policy during the primary season.

Here at WQOW, we believe in being fair. Only when that is accomplished, can we earn your trust. We’re proud of the work we do here, and we want you to be too.

Kristen Shill is the News Director at WQOW. Contact her at kshill@wqow.com or 715.852.5911.

Kristen Shill

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