Election Night

Tonight is going to be busy. At 8 p.m. I head to the office to put together Wednesday’s paper, which will have all the latest news about the 2010 election, assuming the ballots are counted by 11 p.m. tonight. At the mayoral election last year I was able to tweet the race results as they came into Berlin city hall, but this overall is a much larger effort. 2009 was not a banner year for races, other than local ones, while this should be.

The daily news cycle is a different beast than that of a weekly, and the differences are worth experiencing. The push for a morning paper that has all the results is something I never worried about before; with a Monday deadline, Tuesday’s results never made it. Any big stories would be addressed the next week, and smaller issues would fall to the daily. Now I am the daily (although not in the grand form of how I was the weekly, where I did everything in the paper, including photos), and those tasks fall to me.

I talked to the woman who is taking my place at the Reporter yesterday. I did what I could to reassure her that the job is not just doable but rewarding. I remember the first day I started, and the first week, having no idea what I was going to write about to fill the paper. Reporting, largely, is about knowing a community. In a job like the Reporter, where there is no permanent staff, no permanent foundation, it’s a rebirth every time a new reporter starts. I felt a bit of that my first week at the Daily Sun, but it is entirely different. The fact there is an office, other reporters, and a phone messaging system means the same realities do not apply.

And they teach different things, different skills. I see stories everywhere now, even in places I don’t know well. That is a result of working for the Reporter. If you ask enough questions, everyone has a story to tell, some just take digging to get to.

The Sun, however, is about finding those stories, digging, and telling those stories quickly. Deadlines are no less important than facts in many news environments. So for that, I’ll be up tonight, counting the votes.

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