Whew! What a season, but I don’t mean baseball. As you read this, the elections will be just about to occur or will have just been held. The range of races and issues has been substantial and the campaigns, well, “spirited.” As a citizen and as a KBDI member you very likely will have been thoroughly engaged in the electoral process, and you probably have been highly attuned to the campaigns in Colorado. In fact, you are so well informed that you might be forgiven a little weariness, especially from all the political advertising on the commercial broadcast media.
But you also likely have been following much of the election coverage on Channel 12. Perhaps you are like the viewer from whom I had a heart-warming call the other day. She had been watching an episode of Colorado Decides 2004, our extensive election season debate series, and she was calling simply to thank us. Naturally I was delighted to have such a call. As you can imagine, they aren’t always so positive! Our wide-ranging local programming schedule, replete with so much vigorous political and social debate, often engenders spirited “commentary.”
But it wasn’t just the affirmative content of this call that made it special. It was the viewer’s awareness of the breadth and nature of the community oriented public affairs programming on KBDI. She not only knew CD 2004, she was highly familiar with many of our other regular, weekly local series – Colorado Inside Out, Colorado Inside Out-Live, Drawing the Line with Reggie Rivers, The Aaron Harber Show, Independent Thinking and Latin View, among others. And what she was saying about the election coverage was how much she appreciated not only CD 2004, which we produced in partnership with CBS4 (KCNC-TV) and the Rocky Mountain News, but also how much she had noticed the way all the other KBDI series had likewise been geared to electoral issues since last summer.
This is evidence of a steadily growing awareness among Colorado television viewers of the extent to which Channel 12 has set itself apart in Colorado television, with an unparalleled amount of local public affairs, election and community-oriented programming.
Naturally all this local public affairs and election programming does not occur without substantial investment of resources. In fact, truth be told, many public television stations around the country have cut back on their local public affairs and community programming because of its costs. It is much cheaper to pay for network services, such as those from PBS, and avoid the trouble and expense of frequent and regular local productions.
Historically KBDI members have expected something more. As we look back on nearly twenty-five years of service to Colorado we know just how much our role turns on this question of being a genuine community resource.
So it has been a great pleasure providing the sort of extensive political and election coverage we have this fall. And we have understood your membership dollars as being dedicated precisely to this effort. The KBDI staff takes great pride in what it has accomplished during these past few months. But we all know we couldn’t have done it without your generous and continuing help. Many thanks on behalf of all of us at Channel 12 and of the broader community and civic purpose we serve.