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VOTE HERE: Not the same old election coverage
November 3, 2008  | By Diane Werts

Everybody's into election coverage this year, not just the big broadcast networks and cable news channels. That means a broader range of perspectives and wider-ranging alternatives.

Current goes Digg-ing. BET lets you Be Heard. Dan Rather recruits college reporters. DirecTV has its multi-screen Election Mix, and DISH Network goes mosaic, too.

Among Tuesday's most offbeat 2008 election coverage alternatives:

Current Diggs the Election (starting at 7 p.m. ET, Current) -- Real-time social media contribute to what this youth-aimed channel touts as "the future of election coverage." Digg and Twitter are "co-hosting" the night's results, with video from 12seconds.tv and a live DJ set by Diplo. Their promise: "No pundits, just perspective."

Dan Rather Reports On Politics: Election Night 2008 (starting at 7 p.m. ET, HDNet) -- The veteran newsman anchors before a live audience at the Newseum in Washington, presenting footage from 12 college correspondents reporting from New Hampshire to Florida, Delaware to Alaska.

BBC America/BBC World News (starting at 6 p.m. ET) -- Ricky Gervais, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Bradley, Karen Hughes, Gore Vidal and others join anchors David Dimbleby and Matt Frei in Washington, with analysis from Ted Koppel and reports from BBC correspondents in key states. BBC coverage streams live all evening on bbc.com, which also carries live blog commentary from both elections experts and viewers.

BET News: Be Heard Election 2008 (starting at 8 p.m., BET) -- Jeff Johnson anchors, with reports from correspondents at Obama and McCain headquarters, among other locations. Commentators include Keith Boykin, Jamal Simmons, Keli Goff and Angela McGlowan. Viewers are invited to interact via bet.com/beheard with comments and videos showing their voting experiences. Prime-time coverage also streams at bet.com/onblast. Special BET news coverage continues all day Wednesday.

TV One's Election Night 08: A Vote for Change (starting at 7 p.m. ET, TV One) -- Reporting for this adult-aimed African-American cabler are Arthur Fennell, Joe Madison and Jacque Reid, with commentators including Michael Eric Dyson, Tom Joyner, Roland Martin (reporting from CNN Election Headquarters), and pollster Shawnta Walcott.

DirecTV Election Mix Channel (DirecTV Chs. 102 and 352, from 7 p.m. ET) -- One screen splits to show eight feeds -- the four broadcast networks, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSBNC and alternating feeds of Comedy Central when it’s live and BBC America -- and a real-time election results blog. The same as on DirecTV's sports feeds, viewers with interactive receivers can listen to audio on any channel or select one to watch full-screen.

DISH Network mosaic (DISH Ch. 100, continuing through Nov. 7) -- The satellite service showcases six networks' coverage simultaneously on a single screen -- CNN, Fox News, Headline News, MSNBC, CSPAN and CSPAN2 -- from which users can choose any individual network for full-screen format.

And if you speak Spanish:

Then there's this must-see Wednesday follow-up:

South Park (Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET, Comedy Central) -- After the votes are counted, Trey Parker and Matt Stone do another quick turnaround. Wednesday's new episode, titled "About Last Night...," finds the victorious candidate already taking action: "A new President has been elected, and the citizens of South Park are partying in the streets . . . While the country celebrates, the President-elect catches everyone off-guard when he arrives at the White House prematurely." (Sneak peek here.)


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