A deal struck between cable news channel MSNBC and a state Democratic organization isn’t sitting well with other media outlets. The AP reports that the arrangement reached with South Carolina’s Democratic leader gives MSNBC exclusive live rights to this weekend’s party convention.
“State Party Chairman Trav Robertson said Wednesday that MSNBC did not pay for the exclusive arrangement,” the AP reports, quoting Robertson saying: “This is a fair and equitable way to get time for every candidate running for office.”
The report says Robertson made the deal “because the network agreed to show speeches from 21 presidential contenders and offered a strong chance to reach black voters.” South Carolina is a key early primary state.
But the coverage arrangement ahead of next week’s opening debate angered other media outlets.
“C-SPAN says it shuts them out of a previously open political event it has covered live for many years,” the AP reports. “Journalist Roland Martin, former host at TV One, said the ‘terrible’ decision hurts black-owned media outlets. Fox News Channel lodged a complaint.”
The AP report adds: “Two of MSNBC’s African American anchors, Joy Reid and the Rev. Al Sharpton, will be live all day from the event, interviewing each candidate after he or she addresses the convention. The network was chosen in part, Robertson said, because of Reid and Sharpton’s appeal to black voters, who make up the majority of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina.”