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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The Election is Finally Here

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the 2012 Presidential election finally coming to an end on Tuesday, November 6. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following the trials and tribulations on the campaign trail of both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney in recent months, I definitely feel like it’s time for some fresh news. 

As we readied ourselves for Monday morning’s news meeting this week, there was really only one story to discuss. After weeks of reporting on the campaign trail, the propositions, the Presidential debates and everything else that goes with a once-in-four-year event, it was time to deliver for our viewers one last time. With so much going on across the country and around the USC campus, the biggest issue as producers was actually working out what to leave out of our newscast. For something like the national election, there were some key stories that were obviously always going to make the cut. I’m talking about reporting on where both President Obama and Romney spent the last day before the election and what political experts were predicting would happen when Americans went to the polls. But the key for us was to determine what other stories we could report on to ensure our newscast was as relevant to our audience as possible while also being interesting. As a result, we spent a good hour on Monday morning dissecting the final day before the election from all angles to determine exactly how we would report on it. In the end, we opted to put together a package on the events planned for the election on the USC campus and also another piece on the propositions Californians will be voting for to go with our report on Obama and Romney's last day on the campaign trail. All in all, I felt the choices we made were the right ones and that was reflected in a strong newscast at 6pm.

Before we went to air, of course, I also had to work as the graphics producer in the afternoon. As I’ve said in this blog before, there’s no escaping the fact that being the graphics producer is the least stressful of the three producing roles. Less stressful, that is, but far from easy. After reporting on the presidential election for months, it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with interesting and original graphics with each new week that passes. Monday afternoon was no different. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that when in doubt, it’s always best to opt for simple graphics instead of trying to be too clever. On Monday - our last show before the election - that was the strategy I went with and I felt it worked well. 

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