Wisconsin Public Television Keeps Wisconsin Citizens Engaged through WisconsinVote.org
In February 2009, APTS presented Wisconsin Public Television with the 2009 EDGE Award to highlight their excellence in the digital transition, groundbreaking partnerships and educational technologies.
Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio teamed up to sponsor WisconsinVote.org, which uses new media to give Wisconsin residents access anytime, anywhere to an archive of political news and election information that affects their lives. WisconsinVote is available online and on mobile devices to give users access to a comprehensive online collection of news, interviews and issue stories. The site drew 165,000 visits for the past election cycle alone.
“WisconsinVote exemplifies public radio and television’s mission to inform and to engage people in the civic health of their community,” said Malcolm Brett, director of Broadcasting and Media Innovations at the University of Wisconsin-Extension. “Expanding our long-standing commitment to public policy coverage to the Internet and to mobile devices has extended our capacity to serve new audiences with significant new services. APTS recognition of our work means a lot to our staff and it affirms the importance and relevance of our new media efforts.”
The site uses an embedded flash media player to enable visitors to retrieve material from a media library of easily accessible new reports, candidate profiles and interviews from journalists taken from regularly aired Wisconsin public broadcasting programs. Wisconsin Public Television also developed a version of WisconsinVote.org optimized for wireless handheld devices, like iPhones and Blackberries, to enable a wider group of citizens to access its information.
Wisconsin Public Television also conducted a number of innovative experiments to engage younger voters, including purchasing ads on Facebook and creating a customized website linked to WisconsinVote for eight of the University of Wisconsin’s two-year campuses. It also provided real-time election night coverage to users across the country via Twitter and text messages.