The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council notes that it is nearly impossible to tell whether political campaigns are including minority-owned stations in on their buys – but suggests that legally they should be, and also points out that it makes political sense.
Deputy Director and Senior Policy Counsel Joe Miller wrote a piece on the topic. He said that there are various types of disclosures required by various government agencies, but cross-referencing them is almost impossible even if you happen to have a lot of time for such a project.
Of course, in the heat of an election, nobody has that kind of time, and the attempt would likely be fruitless anyway – even when data is discovered, it is likely in many instances to be inconclusive, Miller said.
Miller also brought up the topic of “no-urban and no-Spanish dictates” (NUDs and NDSs). They have been illegal since 2007, he said, and he wonders if the fact that most polls expect that the audiences for both types of station are likely to cast votes for Barack Obama has influenced both campaigns to leave them out of allocations as relatively uncontested audiences.
One thing the campaigns should do before writing the two groups off, Miller suggested, is do a careful assessment of how many undecided voters listen to such stations.
And even more to the point, he suggested using stations with a largely-politically-committed audience for strong get-out-the-vote messaging.
Miller concluded, “Political advertisements, especially those placed during presidential election seasons, contribute a significant amount of revenue to stations’ bottom lines. Minority-owned stations should suffer few impediments to their fair share of those revenues.”