The first election night I worked in a newsroom was 1972. Nixon beat McGovern, and the election was called, not prematurely, at 6 p.m. or so, about the same time I walked into the office to start a double shift. My impression of that night is one of disappointment and bleakness mixed with the fun and satisfaction that I’ve always had in doing the news for events both great and small.
I’m not sure I recall the last election evening I was in the newsroom. For a presidential election, it might have been ’88–one that deserves forgetting.
Last night I’ll remember for awhile. Yeah, I’ll admit the outcome was satisfying (though I think my main feelings were relief and a sense of how surreal it is that what came to pass came to pass). But I’ll also remember it for the fun and satisfaction of working with a group that responded well to the work at hand. I went in at 5 o’clock with only a general outline sketched out of where we wanted reporters to go and what sort of stories we’d like them to do. I left after 6 a.m. after watching everyone generate enough good stuff that we could have filled our regular newscasts several times over (luckily, we had an expanded time slot today).
I slept a little. Not enough. I don’t have to work this evening, so I have today to regroup and reflect and hope I won the office election pool.