Like many of you, I’m looking forward to Election Day. More accurately, I’m looking forward to the end of this seemingly endless, overly negative campaign. Although I find myself hating election season more and more as the years go by, there is one event that I still enjoy: Election night in the newsroom.
Tuesday, I want to share a little of that fun and excitement with you.
I’ve spent most of my working life in newsrooms. For the most part they are fun, vibrant places to work. No two days are alike; even on the most mundane days, there’s always the chance something interesting will happen.
On Election Night, the newsroom has a special feel. Most of the work of putting out the paper will happen in the last couple of hours. Election Night involves a long period of relatively little action, followed by about two hours of unending action. The results pour in at the last minute and it’s rare when some race doesn’t hang in the balance until the last minute. There is a lot to do in a short period of time, and every journalist is juiced by upcoming deadlines.
The sports department faces the same pressure almost every night, which is why a lot of former sports reporters and editors now work in the newsroom. Madness is fun, but not on a nightly basis.
This year could feature a lot of tight races. The presidential race is nearly even and it remains to be seen whether the remnants of Superstorm Sandy will slow the election tally. Congressional and statehouse races are also expected to be tight.
This year, we’re offering more ways for readers to keep up with the news. You can follow the election on your computer, mobile device or tablet. We’ll have up-to-the-minute results, a live ticker and breaking news, stories and videos. On Wednesday morning, we’ll give newspaper readers a complete wrap-up.
You can get a feel for what’s going on by joining me Tuesday night in a live, online conversation as results become available. I’m hoping the conversation will be lively, fun and informative.
Getting involved is easy. Go to our website, www.pantagraph.com/elec
tions. On Tuesday night, there will be a spot to log on so you can join the conversation.
We’ll start about 8 p.m. and we’ll keep going as long as folks are interested. I’d guess we’ll go until at least midnight; later if the races warrant it. You don’t have to be involved the entire time; feel free to come and go as you please.
Springfield bureau chief Kurt Erickson, who covers politicians all the time, will offer his comments and observations. We will also receive comments from reporters at various locations. We’ll keep you updated on local and national races and discuss what the results mean. It’s your chance to be a political pundit.
We will moderate comments, so we ask that everyone keep the conversation family-friendly. But humor and sarcasm will be encouraged. The idea is to have a lively conversation.
Please remember to vote Tuesday and then join me for our Election Night chat.