Free Press, Sunlight Foundation, New America Foundation, I-News Network and Colorado University Journalism News Service are partnering in Colorado and other swing states to gather and organize the money trail behind 2012 political ads.
The examiners are nvestigatubg political ad buys on both large and local broadcasting stations, documentation for which is publicly filed and remains public record to serve community interest in government politics.
Buyers, their target audiences and purchase amounts are available on the public files, which are currently being compiled at Free Press’s Document Cloud. More in-depth scrutiny of Colorado tv ad documents will be provided by the CU Journalism News Service in coming months.
Libby Reinish (pictured above at a television station in Denver), Advocacy and Organizing Manager at Free Press, has been plunging into tv ad documents since March of 2012.
"This spring, the FCC ruled that tv stations have to put information in their public and political files online," she said at a training session. The Federal Communications Commission’s new requirement applies to just four major broadcasting stations this year, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, and only for documents filed after August 2, 2012.
The organizations are scanning and making physical documents from before August 2 that relate to the 2012 election electronically available.