MSNBC Brings the Republican Convention to the Internet

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 12, 1996 — MSNBC on the Internet ( (“”) , the first Internet news service to report continuously from the convention floor, will kick off its special Decision ’96 Republican convention coverage today. The campaign coverage of Decision ’96, the MSNBC political section covering the 1996 elections, is designed to provide Internet users with a comprehensive understanding of the issues and people surrounding the national conventions. Decision ’96 will feature extensive and current news coverage, news analysis from NBC News’s Tom Brokaw, Gwen Ifill, Jim Miklazewski, David Bloom, Andrea Mitchell and Lisa Myers, daily Delegate Diaries, exclusive state-by-state information provided by Congressional Quarterly reporters, scheduled chats and behind-the-scenes reports.
“We feel the 1996 Republican and Democratic conventions will be the first ‘information age’ conventions,”
said Merrill Brown, acting managing editor at MSNBC on the Internet.
“With MSNBC on the Internet, we hope to bring a new and unique perspective to the events surrounding the elections by using software elements to supplement and enhance our cable TV news coverage and, overall, deliver an integrated experience.”
MSNBC’s coverage will incorporate interactive and multimedia elements including audio, graphics and interactive applications. An example of MSNBC’s use of software to explore issues further is MSNBC’s coverage on Republican nominee Bob Dole’s tax initiative. The coverage includes a link to custom software worksheets that help users get a better understanding of what it takes to balance the federal budget. In one worksheet, users can enter their own proposed tax cuts. In another, they can enter their annual income to see how Dole’s proposed tax plan would affect them.
Beyond the perspectives presented by MSNBC’s reporters and contributors, the site’s Delegate Diaries will feature a diverse team of delegates who will provide viewpoints on the convention. Among those providing exclusive commentary is Jason Brinton, 18, of Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the youngest delegates attending the convention. The oldest delegate, Jeannette Riel, 93, who currently serves as state committeewoman for Indian River County, Fla., and is taking part in her seventh Republican convention, will also participate.
Within the Decision ’96 section on, users will be able to choose from the following categories to get current news and analysis.

  • Latest News presents the political news happening each day at the convention and will also include five to six stories daily on local and state congressional meetings.

  • UnCoventional. – For a multimedia look at the underbelly of the conventions, UnConventional will provide behind-the-scenes coverage with an offbeat news edge.

  • Faceoff will feature former Clinton speech writer and columnist Eric Liu and noted conservative Republican writer Laura Ingraham, who will report and debate the issues, providing their distinctive political viewpoints.

  • NBC Notebook will allow the user to see the convention through the eyes of top-notch correspondents from NBC News and MSNBC. The section will provide an expanded look at the events and personalities of the convention from the vantage point of some of the world’s leading journalists.

  • Convention Guidebook. – Visitors to’s Convention Guidebook will be offered the opportunity to ask questions of the delegates, throughout the duration of the convention, read briefs filed by individual delegates, navigate through a 360-degree Surround Video image of the convention hall, or choose from selected hot links for more information on specific delegations.

  • Timeline will feature a detailed history of past conventions and an in-depth analysis of selected conventions from 1940 to 1992.

  • Interact is a virtual
    “town hall”
    where MSNBC users can gather to exchange ideas and opinions on the events unfolding before them. The Interact area will be open throughout the convention, and daily chats will be hosted by political insiders, delegates, journalists and analysts such as NBC News’s Tim Russert.

  • Schedule will be a collection and archive of major speeches delivered at the conventions each day. Schedule will house transcripts of the speeches and audio clips of the speakers.

  • DarkHorse, the Virtual Campaign Game. – DarkHorse is the interactive election game that pits players against the actual roster of 1996 political candidates for the U.S. presidency. DarkHorse will update the issues to reflect actual NBC News polls throughout the campaign year, and players’ positions on these issues will affect their game scores. In addition, players will have access to links from the game to corresponding news features within Decision ’96.

MSNBC is the 24-hour news, talk and information cable network and Internet service from NBC and Microsoft Corp. MSNBC on Cable, currently based in Fort Lee, N.J., will move in November to a new state-of-the-art digital production facility in Secaucus. MSNBC’s Internet activities are centered at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., with staff also in New Jersey. MSNBC was recently awarded the IPPA Award for Design Excellence by The Internet Professional Publishers Association for its Internet site ( “” .

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