That said, this is no doubt a happy time for television station managers, who root-root-root for the contests. It’s also a less-than-pleasant time for viewers, who endure the ad barrage with little context or vetting.

Regardless of a person’s position on the ownership of public airwaves or the obligation of stations, there would seem to be little debate broadcast journalism can and should do better.

Much better.

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Ken Knelly served as metro editor at The Times-Tribune in Scranton and as senior editor for government and business at The State in Columbia, S.C. He owns Clearberries, a communications consulting and training firm, and works for a Christian college in Northeastern Pennsylvania.