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Iowa Caucus Goes Online July 4th Weekend At New IowaPulse Interactive Web Site Developed by Lee Enterprises.

DAVENPORT, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 3, 1999--

Early Poll Indicates Education is a Top Issue for Iowans

"The Iowa caucuses start here, online, beginning today," said Greg Schermer, vice president of Interactive Services for Lee Enterprises, as he unveiled the national IowaPulse(TM) Web site devoted exclusively to coverage of one of the best known political events leading up to the 2000 presidential election.

The site www.iowapulse.com was developed and is hosted by Lee Interactive, a division of Lee Enterprises, Inc., a media company headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.

"IowaPulse is an interactive Web site devoted to brining more Iowans into the caucuses by letting them participate in the political process," added Schermer. It is staffed by experienced political reporters who cover what is important to Iowans, as well as news from the campaign trail.

"Special sections devoted to Iowa people and towns let viewers know how residents in different parts of the state are responding to candidates and their issues," Schermer continued. "The heart of the site is a public forum that lets you be a participant, not just a spectator.

"In addition, IowaPulse will be a tremendous resource for Iowans, politicians, journalists, students and teachers - anyone interested in the national election process."

As part of the launch of the IowaPulse site, the results of a telephone poll of 700 registered Iowa voters are being released Saturday on the site and in Lee newspapers in the state.

The poll results indicate 60 percent of voters believe education is the key issue they would like presidential candidates to discuss.

According to the poll, voters are interested in hearing what candidates have to say about health care, crime, taxes and Social Security. Agriculture and the economy were of interest to about one-third of voters. By comparison, character issues were mentioned by just 7 percent of respondents, the least of any issues. Other low-interest issues included government spending, foreign affairs and Kosovo, drugs and welfare reform.

Detailed results and articles about the poll are posted at the Web site.

The IowaPulse Web site is designed to help Iowans and all Americans better understand the issues, personalities and candidates shaping the presidential contest.

The first-in-the-nation caucus is scheduled for February 2000 in Des Moines, Iowa.

"The Iowa Caucuses are among the most interactive events in American politics," explained Mark Ridolfi, editor of IowaPulse. "What better way to identify the frontrunners in the next presidential campaign than to offer a new political information service that puts Iowans on an equal footing with the candidates. IowaPulse offers instant participation in the caucus process, and it's interactive. The Internet is the perfect information and communication tool for the caucuses."

IowaPulse provides a complete range of candidate information, background, Web links and all the data normally associated with electronic campaigning. The focus is not on the candidates, but on Iowans and what they believe is important: the issues that will motivate them to engage in the process, the dialogue that will help them make decisions.

The Web site enables interactivity by: -- Conducting telephone and online polling and in-person interviews

to identify issues important to Iowans. -- Provide constant, ongoing dialogue to allow participants to shape

their arguments publicly throughout the campaign. -- Detailing which candidate's messages resonate with Iowans and

which do not. -- Offering opportunities for Iowans to interact online with

candidates. -- Allowing the rest of the nation to get a look inside the caucus

process and provide direct and immediate feedback.

IowaPulse reporters Todd Dorman, Kathie Obradovich and Ed Tibbets, all native Iowans and all veteran political reporters, are criss-crossing the state in advance of the candidates. Their reports set the framework for meaningful online debate among Iowans and presidential candidates on the issues that will shape the national campaign.

Lee Enterprises, Inc., headquartered in Davenport, Iowa, owns more than 100 enterprises, including 21 daily newspapers, 75 weekly newspapers and specialty publications, nine network-affiliated television stations, seven satellite stations and a commercial printing division.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 5, 1999
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