Radio Bilingüe will begin airing a bilingual weekly program, Hacia el Voto 2008, that will provide extensive coverage of the presidential and other campaigns in the next 12 months, including special coverage at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
The series will kick off on Monday, Jan.14, with a live broadcast from Chicago’s WRTE, Radio Arte, on Radio Bilingue’s award-winning daily talk show, Línea Abierta, from noon to 1 p.m.
The Spanish-language program Línea Abierta is heard on the community-based radio network’s satellite system that reaches 100 affiliates throughout the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico as well as its own six stations in California. It is also available via webcast on www.radiobilingue.org.
With direct collaboration from young producers from WRTE, a youth-driven station in Chicago, the premiere program will focus on the youngest voters, exploring issues that fuel youth’s fervor to participate and those factors that discourage young people from casting their ballot.
This year-long election coverage, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, also will include a special, Línea Abierta on the Road series. These remote broadcasts will include live town hall meetings, roundtable discussions and special reports originating from the home sites of partnering stations.
This series is an effort to provide a forum for direct Latino voter dialogue, said Hugo Morales, Radio Bilingüe founder and executive director.
“By going directly to the communities we serve, Radio Bilin-güe is expressing a commitment to engage partner stations and their audiences and help create better-educated citizens so that they make informed decisions at the polling place,” Morales said.
Hacia el Voto 2008 will include 80 hours of special coverage in Spanish. The series will also include in-depth features in English to be produced in conjunction with San Francisco’s public radio KQED.
The highlight of the year’s coverage will be the Democratic Convention Aug. 25 - 28 in Denver and the Republican Convention Sept. 1 4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Radio Bilingue’s first major network news program, Noticiero Latino, got its start at the 1984 national presidential conventions.
Samuel Orozco, Radio Bilin-güe’s executive producer, who spearheaded the groundbreak-ing coverage in 1984, said the approach for the new reportorial project will be the same.
“We continue committed to the basics of good old journalism: follow-the-money type of stories, hold politicians accountable by checking their promises and actions, and provide a community-oriented forum to give Latino leaders and citizens a bigger voice in the national dialogue,” Orozco said.
The broadcast series will culminate with a day-long reporting effort on Election Day and post-election news and analysis up to Inauguration Day.