For immediate release
December 11, 2003

NPR News and the WOI Radio Group Sponsor Radio-Only Debate with Democratic Presidential Candidate in Des Moines Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 1:00 - 3:00 P.M. CST

NPR News and The WOI Radio Group will co-sponsor the only radio debate this primary season with the Democratic presidential candidates on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 at Iowa State University Extension campus, 700 Locust Street in downtown Des Moines. The debate will take place from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. CST and will be hosted by NPR's Neal Conan, host of NPR's Talk of the Nation. The debate will be heard on more than 243 public radio stations around the country, across the crucial caucus state of Iowa, and the primary state of New Hampshire.

News media will need a credential issued by NPR and the Greater Des Moines Partnership for admittance to the filing center. To obtain news credentials, please fill out the form posted on and submit via e-mail to Tricia Garton at, 515-286-4947. Space in the filing center is extremely limited, we will try to accommodate as many requests as possible.

Media packets and credentials may be picked up at the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Arthur Davis Conference Center, 700 Locust St., Suite 100 on Monday, Jan. 5th from 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, Jan. 6 from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. In order to obtain a credential, members of the news media must show a valid press ID or a formal request for credentials on your organization's letterhead and a photo ID.

Debate audio will be piped into the press filing center. A mult box will be provided, as well. Any use of the audio is embargoed until after the debate is complete at 3:00 p.m. CSTand must be credited to "NPR News." There will be no video feed of the debate in the filing center. The debate will be heard locally over WOI 90.1 FM in Des Moines. Check local listings for the public radio station carrying the debate outside of the local area. A live audio stream will also be available at and via the WAND in Washington, DC.

Soapbox Systems will provide a high-speed Wifi wireless Internet access "HotSpot" within the press filing center. Reporters using a laptop, PDA or other Wi-Fi 802.11b wirelessly enabled device may order broadband Internet access for a flat fee.

Reporters without an 802.11b wirelessly enabled devise may order broadband Internet access via a hard wired - Ethernet line; hard-line orders must be placed no later than January 4; Internet access will be on a fee per service basis, $80 for wireless internet and $110 for Ethernet or wired internet access as an additional $30 will be required for a Cat 5 landline. All broadband Internet access orders will be taken online at, by e-mail at by phone at 202-246-5302 or on-site at the NPR Debate.

There will be a pool photo spray with the candidates and Neal Conan before and after the debate. To keep with the theme of a radio-only debate, there will be no television cameras, photographers or an audience in the studio during the debate.

PARKING A parking garage at the University of Iowa is accessible at Locust and 8th Streets.

Satellite trucks may park on either side of the building on 7th & 8th Streets between Walnut and Locust

Greater Des Moines Partnership (responsible for credentials): Tricia Garton, 515-286-4947,

NPR: Laura Gross, 202-513-2304, cell: 202-253-3737,

NPR: Jessamyn Sarmiento, 202-513-2307, cell: 202-744-9484,

It seems unheard of in this day and age - removing the television cameras from a presidential debate and allowing candidates and voters to concentrate on substance and ideas. According to NPR's research, a radio-only debate for a general or primary presidential election has not occurred since 1948, between Republican candidates Harold Stassen and Thomas Dewey.

NPR's audience has grown from 13 million to 22 million listeners in the last five years - a gain of 64 percent. NPR's audience of more than 22 million exceeds the combined circulation of the top 46 daily newspapers in the U.S. NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves more than 730 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information.

The WOI Radio Group is one of the nation's oldest non-commercial radio stations operating continuously since 1922 and earlier under experimental authority. Licensed to The Iowa State University of Science and Technology in Ames, The WOI Radio Group is now four stations serving central Iowa with WOI-AM and FM, KTPR in Fort Dodge and KWOI in Carroll with several separate program services and on the web at from studios and offices in Ames, Des Moines and Fort Dodge.