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Dr. Michael Bitzer Tapped as WFAE's Expert for Political Coverage

August 30, 2016

Category: Events, Faculty, Politics

Bitzer2015.jpgWFAE, Charlotte’s NPR News Source, has tapped Dr. Michael Bitzer, Catawba College provost and professor of politics and history, as its expert for political coverage during the upcoming election season.  Read the full details in the WFAE-provided news release that follows.


With less than 75 days until the nation elects a new president, WFAE's News Department and daily talk show, Charlotte Talks, will provide in-depth coverage of the storylines, debates and campaigns impacting Charlotte and the surrounding region. WFAE, which airs no political ads, focuses on up-to-date reporting of national, state and local races.WFAE's robust election-focused reporting includes:

Party Line Political Discussions with Catawba College's Dr. Michael Bitzer

Every Friday until the general election, WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry speaks with Dr. Michael Bitzer, provost and professor of politics and history at Catawba College, and political analyst for WFAE. Their conversations recap the week's political news including analysis of the candidates, polling data and other research. The segments air each Friday at 5:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.

Since 2012, Dr. Bitzer has been WFAE's political analyst and contributor to the station's political blog, "The Party Line: Raising the Curtain on Carolina Politics." The blog examines regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. It offers a provocative, intelligent look at the stories and players behind the action; and provides insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

Dr. Bitzer's academic expertise is in Southern political history and voting behaviors in North Carolina. He has contributed to seven political science books including a chapter in "Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture." Dr. Bitzer also has moderated several candidate forums at the state and local levels, and facilitated candidate academies that seek to educate citizens about public office and campaigning.

WFAE's Tom Bullock Collaborates on NPR's Political Coverage
As a member of NPR's 2016 Political Reporting Partnership, Tom Bullock will work with NPR and 17 public radio stations across the country to produce local and national political coverage both on-air and online.

Bullock's focus has been tracking contributions to candidates and outside groups. He explores how political money is used to craft and send messages; to get voters to the polls; and how to motivate voters to vote. In addition to being broadcast on WFAE's over-the-air radio signals, his stories can be heard online at and are included in the Charlotte area NPR One service.

Bullock's political reporting at WFAE has included the controversy surrounding House Bill Two; the North Carolina governor's race; and the heated debate in the South Carolina legislature over the Confederate flag.

Before joining WFAE in 2014, Bullock worked at NPR for 15 years. He was senior producer of NPR's Election Unit and for NPR's Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, among others.

Elections and Politics on WFAE's Charlotte Talks

On Wed., Aug. 31, host Mike Collins and a panel of guests will discuss alternative methods of voting and efficiency, such as voting by mail or internet. Dr. Bitzer will be the guest host on Tues., Sept. 6, for a conversation about political polarization. Every Friday, listeners can catch up on the week's political news during Charlotte Talks' local news roundups. Charlotte Talks airs weekday mornings at 9 a.m. with rebroadcasts Monday through Thursday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 7 a.m.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Charlotte Talks will also delve into topics like Young Democrats and Republicans in the area; the African-American vote during this election; North Carolina's Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races; the presidential race in North Carolina; and more. Producers are also actively working to bring regional and national candidates to the show.

Global and National Perspectives

From NPR's flagship newsmagazines, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, to the BBC, WFAE also provides national and international viewpoints on the election. NPR reporters are exploring stories, such as data and technology; how demographics and politics intersect; and pop culture during the campaign. As a leader in worldwide news, the BBC presents other countries' outlook and understanding of U.S. politics, and how American election results could impact globally.

Election Night Event
On Election Night, WFAE will welcome listeners from all political parties for a results watching party at Free Range Brewing. Event details to be announced closer to Election Day. Visit to learn more.


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