Stations set out stalls for biggest-ever coverage
THERE will be no hiding place for a jaded public from beaming and screaming politicians over the next three weeks.
TV and radio stations are gearing up for an unprecedented coverage blitz of the forthcoming general election.
RTE promised its most comprehensive coverage of an election campaign, while TV3 said their coverage would be its biggest since the station's launch.
Last night RTE said it was still putting the finishing touches to its coverage plans and promised a "huge undertaking".
Extra 'Prime Time' programmes will be aired along with election coverage on Pat Kenny's 'The Frontline'.
There will also be a return of the 'Campaign Daily' slot most days of the week while the 'Eleventh Hour' will air for the first time next week for the duration of the election.
Reporters will be at every election count while the public will also be able to keep up with all the election happenings through texts alerts and Twitter.
Sources said that while this would be the station's most comprehensive coverage ever of an election campaign "we are not throwing money at it".
TV3 yesterday launched "our biggest election campaign coverage" in its 13-year history with a team led by Vincent Browne and political editor Ursula Halligan.
Its coverage includes a proposed leaders' debate, an extended 'Tonight with Vincent Browne', which will air until 12.30am, a Friday 'Vincent Browne' and reports, blogs, tweets and interactive coverage online.
The company said plans were also "at an advanced stage" for a debate between the three main party leaders, hosted by Mr Browne.
It will also include 'Midweek' presenter and 'Irish Times' columnist Sarah Carey and Trinity College economist Constantin Gurdgiev.
The 'News at 5.30' team will be headed by anchors Alan Cantwell and Elaine Crowley, with Alan presenting the Election Centre coverage, while TV3's 'News at 5.30' will be a hub for reports from the campaign trail.
As part of RTE Radio's election coverage, broadcaster Claire Byrne will present Radio 1's late night political and current affairs programme, 'Late Debate', for the duration of Election 2011 from next Monday at 10pm.