Election Night in the Newsroom
November 5, 2010
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Election night is always a hot-topic on the evening news. Every race that is being run has to be researched. That research turns into numbers. Those numbers have to be relayed onto a program that flashes along the bottom of the television screen. Imagine doing that in five minutes and repeating the process over and over again for hours.
An opportunity came up for three Catawba students to be able and be those researchers that relay the information that informs the public of the results. Chrysten Maydek, Christian Crifasi and myself were emailed by Dr. Michael Bitzer, who asked if we were interested in helping. Of course we took the chance to be a part of the “election night hype” in the newsroom. We drove down to the Charlotte ABC affiliate WSOC, sat in the news room and reported on the results. Internet research and constant phone calls updating information were our itinerary for the entire evening. This was a rare opportunity to be a part of the newsroom during one of the most chaotic nights of the year.
Throughout the night though, we talked with news anchors Blair Miller and Natalie Pasquarella, both of WSOC/WAXN (their sister station), about how the news room really is and if it is always as crazy as it seems. People were shouting, looking for answers to where politicians were, where the anchor was, or how long a video piece was going to be. Reporter for the station, Alan Cavanna, said that the newsroom typically has about half the people in it, and that stories are usually solidified before the show goes live. Last night a story may have been cut two minutes before airing.
At the same time, Dr. Bitzer also became the WSOC political analyst of the night, going live on air many times during the evening. He reported on upsets, surprises and change in power throughout the United States government.