Media competes for your vote

by Julia Levy | 11/7/00 6:00am

Today is climax day for the media. After months of Campaign 2000 coverage, the big moment has arrived, and the news media is determined to cash in for its final hurrah.

As the polls open today, most analysts have yet to cast their lots with one candidate or the other. They predict a close call and expect a late night of vote counting before the nation learns who its next round of leaders will be.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal went so far as to report that most major newspapers doubt whether or not they will be able to make their press deadlines and still print the election results. This comes at a bad time for newspapers -- as they fight an uphill battle against all-news cable television stations and, increasingly, the internet.

Today -- when real-time matters -- a wide array of television channels and websites plan to take advantage of the election to attract news seekers in creative ways and to beat out the rest of the pack.


Students will be able to tune into ABC's continuous election night coverage at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on channel 46 or 47 of campus cable.

ABC is also billing their "Enhanced TV Election 2000" online program, which begins at 6 p.m.

"Interact live with Peter Jennings and the dynamic ABC News Elections Coverage like never before," the website broadcasts.


CBS will report election results tonight every 90 seconds tonight on its website, -- right down to individual counties.

In addition, it will make exit polls available to the public on its websites, which were reserved for analysts in previous elections and there will be a live online chat from 8 until 11 p.m.

The on-air broadcast will gear up early in the day and will start in full force at 7 p.m. when Dan Rather will host continuous coverage until at least 2 a.m. Students can tune in to channels 41 or 42 to find CBS.


On channel 56 viewers will find an all day lineup of last-second campaign and rally coverage as well as commentary on the results.

NBC's assorted websites are tough to navigate and do not seem to have as much thorough coverage as many of the other sources listed in this guide.


Throughout the campaign season, CNN and have provided comprehensive campaign coverage.

The website claims that "CNN and will offer the most in-depth coverage" featuring real-time election results, live interviews, streaming video, breaking news and feature segments.

CNN has been the Rockefeller Center's station of choice as it aired the three debates this fall -- so chances are that it will be playing at "Election Night at Rocky," which starts at 8 p.m. Students can find CNN on channel 26.

Fox News

Fox News' website is a complete and easily-navigated resource for election information.

Perhaps the most useful tool for aspiring-pundits is Fox's interactive map. It breaks the states down into "Gore safe," "Gore lean," "Bush safe," "Bush lean," and "toss up." Place the cursor over a state and you will learn its total electoral votes, and the 1996 and 1992 winners.

The website also features articles, polls, video interviews and rolling cyber debates.


Although many have the tendency to place C-Span and dozing off in the same category, C-span's election night coverage and website resources promise to be top tier.

Coverage will begin live at 8 p.m. on channel 15, and will show live views and interviews from Buchanan, Bush, Gore and Nader headquarters.

The website will show returns from the Associated Press and will show live camera views of the headquarters in streaming-video.

And for kicks in the midst of other election coverage, C-Span website offers access to candidates' official campaign advertisements, some of which are very entertaining.


PBS, which can be found on channel 45, will give more limited coverage than the other news stations.

From 8 p.m. to midnight there will be intermissions in regular programming at 20 and 50 after the hour for live election results.

And from 10 p.m. to midnight, commentators will assess presidential and key congressional results. Its website takes a thorough look at the race and its implications up to today.

Salon, which has won multiple "Best of the Web" awards, has a great deal of unorthodox information and commentary for people gathering last-minute ideas before heading off to the polls.

Its characteristically provocative assessment of political news features opinion pieces and straight news, as well as other features.

Its "Trail Mix" has given daily news roundups of the campaigns every day leading up to the election.

In honor of the election, Charlie Cook's well-respected journal -- which usually charges a large fee -- is free online to interested information-seekers.

The site is very comprehensive and objective, with information on the presidential and congressional races.

Cook, who was on campus last week, predicted a slight Bush victory, but said the election was extremely close and hard to call in either direction.

This site is a cooperative product of The Hotline, a daily news briefing that draws from 350 newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, and the National Journal, a prestigious weekly political magazine.

The site promises a rolling election night tally of who is winning the White House, Senate and House.

It has a funny section labeled "Overheard" where web-surfers can read off-the-cuff quotes. It also features articles, polls and campaign advertisements.

The Associated Press

For the most up-to-date information, check into the website of the nation's premier wire service at As news is available, stories will cascade into the "Wire" section of the site in true AP fashion.

The Dartmouth Election Network

The Dartmouth Election Network available on WDCR 1340 and WFRD, 99 Rock, will have continous coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. and broadcast live from Rocky.

The network offers commentary, live interviews as well as previously prepared election features by Dartmouth students.