How to Talk About the Election

 In Blog

The old Top 40 tagline “the hits just keep on coming!” applies perfectly to 2020. But the hits we keep on getting are not the entertaining kind. The election kicks into high gear this week, and the next five weeks will be another assault on our collective psyche.

If you’re on a music station morning or personality afternoon show, how do you stay authentic and address the biggest election of our lifetime? There are many obstacles going against you.

The Election Dilemma

Most of the population is seeking comfort and escape from Covid, isolation, unemployment, boredom, inequality, injustice, fires, hurricanes, misinformation, and the polarized election. Listeners are coming to music stations to escape all the above and to be entertained. The last thing they want is politics.

The rub is you can’t be authentic and ignore the election. Here are four ways to acknowledge the election without getting into the weeds.

  1. The Danger of Commentary
    Eliminate all serious political commentary. It’s totally out of step with listener expectations, and you cannot change people’s minds. Even if 75% of your audience is conservative or liberal, the opposing 25% will hate you, and not in a good way. TSL is critical to mornings now, and cume is still well below pre-Covid levels.
  2. Humor Transcends All
    If you venture outside of factual information with commentary, make it brief and make it funny. Run either non-political clips from late night comedy shows, or include humor on candidates from both sides of the isle.
  3. Election Info Placement
    Newscasts and trending segments are the ideal place to deliver election and political news. Since there is a glut of misleading and misinformation online, be a beacon for truth and facts. Don’t trust any information on social media and question much of it on cable TV. 

    Go to credible and unbiased sources to fact-check any stories in question. Here’s a list of them to consider:
    USA Today Factcheck
    Reuters Factcheck
  4. Voting is a Fundamental and Constitutional Right
    Your show’s greatest service between now and November 3rd is to provide voting information. has an abundance of information on voter registration, voting by mail, absentee voting and state-by-state voting deadlines, dates, and rules.

Photo by Valentino Funghi on Unsplash

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