Gwen Ifill covers GOP convention 2008

NewsHour gives party conventions 18 hours, assigns female anchor team

With the NewsHour‘s Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff stepping into co-anchor roles for PBS’s coverage of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, producers have reconfigured their set and editorial plans for the 18 hours of live broadcasts that begin airing on PBS stations on Tuesday.

The coverage, airing at 8 p.m. ET through Thursday on most PBS stations, marks the passing of the torch from retired anchor Jim Lehrer, and makes Ifill and Woodruff the first female anchor due to co-anchor coverage of the major party conventions…

This time we let our listeners hear directly from candidates

In fall 1992, a number of public broadcasting’s gatekeepers opened their gates to give candidates unedited, unmediated “free time” to talk with the electorate over the air. Here’s a first-hand report on the experience, from two public radio program directors — Dave Becker of WDUQ, Pittsburgh, and Dave Kanzeg of WCPN, Cleveland. We’re here to confess to breaking a few broadcasting rules. They’re not in any FCC handbooks or federal code, but they seem to be universal anyway:

Never break your regular format for politics. Never give up control of your station’s sound to politicians.