Edit ModuleShow Tags

Equal Time for Candidates?


Published:


Former Gov. Ben Cayetano.

photo: mark arbeit

This month, we have a Q&A with former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who is currently running for mayor of Honolulu. Some of the other campaigns around town have noticed and have gotten in touch with us to request and/or demand their “equal time.”

I know this idea of equal coverage for candidates is something people may not have heard of, so a quick note seems in order. For broadcast media such as television and radio stations, “equal time” is required by law, on the premise that because those media operate through a shared public resource—their respective parts of the electromagnetic spectrum—they have an obligation to provide equal amounts of coverage to candidates for public office.

Wikipedia has a readable summary of the law and its exceptions. Even TV and radio are exempt in certain cases, such as during spot news reporting. (In practice, the “equal time” rule strikes me as a fairly bogus when it comes to, say, network-sponsored presidential debates, which reinforce a Republican-Democratic party duopoly in this country by deliberately excluding third-party candidates.)

The “equal time” law does not apply to magazines, which, because they are privately owned and produced, are free to hone in on the stories they find most interesting. For us, the most interesting story in this election cycle was that of Ben Cayetano coming out of retirement to run for an office he had never pursued before and one that some might say was a kind of demotion given that his last office was governor of the entire state.

For the two campaigns that reached out to us so far for their “equal time,” just a reminder that they’ve had a turn in our pages before, here are links to those stories, all worth rereading:

Meet the Mayor: Peter Carlisle, Jan. 2011

Peter the Prosecutor, Aug. 2008

How is the Mayor Doing? (A profile of Mufi Hannemann), Jan. 2007

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine April 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

Colin Nishida, Beloved Chef and Restaurateur, Leaves a Culinary Legacy

Colin Nishida

An entire community remembers the owner of Side Street Inn.

 

Closing of Popular Lanikai Pillbox Hike Delayed Until Further Notice

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The state asks for public input as it works to repair the old concrete observation stations on the trail, commonly known as “pillboxes.”

 

First Look: Panda Dimsum in Kalihi

Panda Dim Sum

Frogs, hedgehogs and bees, oh my! This spot dishes up cute, Instagrammable dumplings.

 

Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Da Shop

It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.

 


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags