The University Record, May 20, 2002

TV, radio host gubernatorial candidates

By Laurel Thomas Gnagey

For the second time in recent months, U-M Public Television (UMPTV) and Michigan Radio (WUOM) will co-produce an event, this one featuring all five candidates for governor. “The Race for Governor 2002: A Candidates’ Forum on Conservation and Environmental Issues” will be recorded at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (May 21) in the Brighton Center for Performing Arts. Producer and WUOM News Director Bill Poorman says UMPTV will air the 90-minute program at 8 p.m. May 22 with a radio series on the candidates to follow at a date to be announced. WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids also plans to air the program next week and Poorman believes other public television and radio stations across the state will be interested in the event as well.

The candidates for governor are former Gov. Jim Blanchard, U.S. Rep. David Bonior, Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus and State Sen. John Schwarz. Poorman says the Detroit Free Press and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, whose representatives will participate in the forum, also are sponsors of the event. In fact, the Michigan League originated the concept for a forum to address only environmental issues.

UMPTV and Michigan Radio teamed up in February to produce a program on the Flint Mayoral recall issue. In their launch of “The Flint Project,” a programming effort focusing on the community through public affairs and news reporting, the media jointly produced a documentary on the controversial recall that aired just before the vote to remove Mayor Woodrow Stanley from office.

Poorman says he hopes the gubernatorial forum is only the start of a series of events on the race, in what he calls “an important time for Michigan.” He also says to expect more joint efforts from television and radio. “It’s a great value to viewers and listeners,” he says. “It’s a fact in all media outlets that everyone sees the potential of this multimedia concept. CNN does TV and e-mail news and there’s video now on the New York Times Web site.”

Public participation at the forum is welcome.