Share this

KUNI and New Hampshire public radio join forces for political discussion

October 16, 2003

Greg Shanley, news director, KUNI news director, (319) 273-6408
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's public radio station KUNI, and New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) are collaborating on a new program, 'The Primary Frontline Pen Pals,' to increase discussion about the presidential candidates. Five Iowans and five New Hampshire citizens have been paired and will share written observations about the candidates and their campaigns. Everything they write will be on a Web log available for comment by viewers.

Those chosen are two small-business owners, two moderates, two traditional urban Democrats, two advertising analysts and two GOP strategists.

Jon Greenberg, NHPR executive editor, designed the program. 'We wanted to give people in each state a chance to compare notes,' he said. 'As far as I am concerned, what you really want to see is how these campaigns come across to the people who can get a close look.'

'Given New Hampshire's and Iowa's prominent places in the election process, it makes sense that we work together,' said Greg Shanley, KUNI news director. He said KUNI has invited the presidential candidates to participate in a series of call-in programs, and noted that KUNI regularly hosts call-in programs with Iowa's governor and U.S. senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin.

The Primary Frontline Pen Pal project can be accessed through KUNI's Web site,; or the NHPR site,

NHPR serves more than 150,000 listeners each week through a network of seven stations and transmitters. It is the only statewide source of news, music and entertainment for New Hampshire.

KUNI has been serving eastern Iowa for 30 years, and was among the first stations to develop a 'Friends' organization. KUNI also has established broadcast translators in Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City and the Quad Cities.