What is it like to work in a news room on Election Day?

Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 1:29pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 10:46pm

Election Day is an exciting time in the news business. There are so many different elements to keep up. As the day progresses the intensity builds to a near frantic degree. It’s a “hurry up and wait” environment.

So how does it all work?

Click here to watch YouTube clips from each of the NBC33 reporters.

First off, our News Director and Executive Producer have spent the past several weeks coordinating all the details. From technical concerns such as how to make a feed go live, to which reporter will be standing in front of that camera – those are decisions made long before this day arrives.

Truly, these are the individuals who take on the greatest stress. They keep up with everything so you (and most of us) don’t have to. Give them a quick clap and like Tinker Bell, perhaps they will get a boost of energy. Trust me, they’re exhausted!

Of course the old rule always applies; if something can go wrong, it will. Bumps in the road are to be expected. This year is moving along pretty smoothly, but if past experience has taught us nothing, it’s to never get too comfortable.

“Being an Executive Producer on Election Day is different than any other day because you have to roll with the punches a lot more than you do on a normal day because we have all our teams out all over south Louisiana trying to get your stories to these races, but those stories change throughout the day,” Andrew Capasso explained. “So, the plan that you had weeks ago, gets really thrown out the window an hour into the day. It shows that you have to be patient and at the end of the day, hopefully it will all work out.”

Keep checking back with this blog throughout the day to learn some more insights as to what it’s like to work in a news room on Election Day. Later this evening, we’ll have some fun “bonus” content from election headquarters. All of the reports for the NBC33 Team will post updates throughout the day on their Facebook pages, so make sure to follow your favorite!

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.

It’s starting to get a little loud in the news room. Although we have several hours before the polls are closed, most of us have already put in a full day of work.

NBC33’s David Lippman VOLUNTEERED to work the early shift. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he will leave early. Rather, he’s just going to have one heck of a long day.

“I got into the station this morning around 4:30 a.m. so that I could meet with poll workers at 5:15 before they go and open up the precincts at 6:00,” Lippman said. “I’ve been covering stories all day long about the election; getting out and seeing how it’s affecting people – people campaigning and people voting and I look forward to bringing you all those stories tonight.”

Click here to follow David Lippman on Facebook.

UPDATE: 6:00 p.m.

If Election Day were a hurricane, this point in the day would be when it’s getting close to landfall. Our first broadcast for the evening went off without a hitch, which is always a great motivating force for the remainder of the evening.

The greatest challenge for Election Day coverage is felt in the director’s booth. With so many reporters working out in the field, having the ability to go live from multiple locations is critical. But when you’re dependent on technology, there’s no telling what will happen.

“It’s pretty intense in there,” Matt explained. “Everybody has to be in the right place at the right time and it’s all on you. If you mess up, it doesn’t look good on TV. Everything happens live and in the moment.”

Fortunately, all of our live shots were flawless, so Matt is certainly taking a nice deep breath as he prepares for the 6:30 broadcast.

But the big storm has yet to hit.

Once election results start coming in at 7:00 p.m. and the polls close at 8:00, it will be a mad rush for the remainder of the evening. Matt, along with several other studio hands, will be responsible for inputting all the numbers for election results so that they will show up on your television screen.

Of course, you can check those numbers here on our website, too.

Click here to watch a video of Matt telling what his experience was like.

UPDATE: 7:50 p.m.

At 8:00 p.m. the results start pushing in and we go into full coverage mode. Right now all the reporters are setting up their live shots and getting ready for the final push of the night.

“I get my scripts ready so I know what I’m going to say to you guys, I can hear the studio in my IFB, I’m all mic’d up and ready to go,” Alex Deiro said when explaining the last moments before going live.

Click here to watch a video from Alex Deiro.


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