In an election year, voters usually receive their information from television, newspapers or magazines. Now there's a new source. Prodigy's Political Profiles database lets voters review a broad range of information about each candidate from a computer screen.
Prodigy, the big home computer network co-owned by International Business Machines Corp. and Sears, Roebuck and Co., introduced the new database last week. It's part of the service's basic array of offerings, available to subscribers for a flat $12.95 a month. (The price is lower than many other commercial computer networks, because advertisers whose messages stream along the bottom of the screen foot part of the bill.)
Prodigy positions itself uniquely in the news market. It says its clients relate to the immediacy of television's round-the-clock news broadcasts as well as the interpretation and analysis provided by newspapers.
Political Profiles is a reader's medium and succinctly tells the story of the 1992 elections with an abundance of colorful graphic displays.
Prodigy's political news team, under the direction of Mark Benerofe and Renee Russak, has teamed with the League of Women Voters to encourage political participation and voter turnout in 1992.
Daily coverage of the campaign is continually updated and includes not only presidential, but also congressional and gubernatorial races, and Prodigy will provide the results of voting in presidential primaries, caucuses and general elections.
Forget the day of the primary in your state? The political calendar notes the dates for the primaries, caucuses, debates, conventions and general election.
Can't remember much about your representative, who's up for reelection? Search the database by your zip code or congressional district.
Political Profiles will identify your representatives and describe their backgrounds, tell you how they voted and the committees on which they sit.
If you want to get your view across and write to your representative, you can write a letter on the computer screen. Prodigy will print and mail it for a fee of $2.50.
The database also includes campaign contributions, as reported to the Federal Election Commission, past election results and voter demographics. Prodigy editors have noted with each graph or written summary the varied sources of quoted information, which ranges from the Census Bureau to the National Journal.
Jennifer Belton is director of information services for The Post's newsroom.