A coalition of public-affairs networks that provide cable and broadcast coverage of state governments and political events has formally joined to create a trade association.
The backers of the new association come from 30 states that already have, or are trying to form, political-content networks.
The group has dubbed itself the National Association of Public Affairs Networks. In all, 39 states offer television or Internet coverage of state-government activities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The new group’s president, Paul Giguere, president of Connecticut Network, said the goal of the group is to raise public awareness of the availability of these networks and their dedication to providing unfiltered information about state-government deliberations.
"With the well-documented lower amount of broadcast-news coverage of government, we believe our networks open a window on government to the public," Giguere said in a prepared statement.
NAPAN will develop its agenda over the next few months, and the trade group is soliciting input from the satellite industry, cable-TV providers and the public.
It is also developing a Web site (www.napan.net) to provide resources to states that may be contemplating the launch of new public-affairs networks.