Posted by: rcieri | November 4, 2008

Elon’s Phoenix 14 News to go live with seven-hour election coverage

By Rachel Cieri

Nov. 3, 2008

 

Field reporter Randy Gyllenhaal talks to the control room crew in preparation for a seven hours of election coverage.

Field reporter Randy Gyllenhaal talks to the control room crew in preparation for a seven hours of election coverage.

It is Nov. 3 at 10 p.m. – Sophomore Nick Ochsner has spent about 30 of the last 48 hours in the Phoenix 14 newsroom. In addition to eating and sleeping there, he has been giving constant directions to the nearly 50 people working under him and making last-minute preparations for one of the most ambitious endeavors the show has ever undertaken.

For the last month, the Phoenix 14 news team and several other Elon Student Television shows have been working to put together a comprehensive, seven-hour live broadcast of election coverage, bringing continuous updates on poll results and student reactions to campus all night.

“We’re going live from 7 p.m. until we have a president,” Ochsner, the executive producer for the show, said. “Unless we get a really early announcement, we’ll be going until 2 a.m., but based on past elections, it doesn’t look like that’ll be happening.”

 

Executive Nick Ochsner is leading almost 50 people to put together Phoenix 14's election coverage.

Executive Producer Nick Ochsner is leading almost 50 people to put together Phoenix 14's election coverage.

Preparing for the show has been a learning experience for everyone, taking risks and trying new things in every aspect imaginable. Ochsner, who is usually an anchor, is producing for the first time. As the president of College Republicans and a well-involved member of the party, he decided not to be on air to make sure that the coverage will be received as balanced and objective.

Teams of reporters will be in the field all night, broadcasting live using new technology that will make the shot look nearly good as if it was wired in the studio.

“We had a bit of a hiccup with our Sarah Palin coverage, and that gave us the inspiration to do well for tomorrow,” said News Director Kevin Kline.

“We’re worried about the technology failing because we’re going live, and it’s always hard to do that,” said Randy Gyllenhaal, who will be reporting live from the field. “But we’re excited to be a part of this. We’ll be at the library to see all the nerds, and we’ll be at Acorn to see all of them…”

 

Gyllenhaal makes some adjustments to a news package for Tuesday's broadcast.

Gyllenhaal makes some adjustments to a news package for Tuesday's coverage.

Ochsner has scheduled every minute of the entire seven hours, but they will still be finding the stories as they come, making adjustments as necessary.

They will also be taking student questions through e-mail and answering them with information from the “FASTrack Data Center,” which Kline will be heading. He and his team have been preparing a 50-page book of facts and statistics to provide information for any story that may arise.

The show will feature several special guests, both in person and phoning in. Dr. Danieley will be making an appearance, and there will even be a phone interview with Jack Sawyer, a candidate for secretary of state.

Throughout the night, the staff will be rotating in and out in two-hour shifts. In addition to the seven manning the control room, two anchors, four panelists, four cameramen, producers, writers and graphic artists, the show will include help from the staff of other media groups and organizations.

 

Kline will be leading the team in the "Fast-Track Data Center" to provide all the statistics and background information for the show.

Kline will be leading the team in the "FASTrack Data Center."

Members of “The Pendulum” staff will participate in a panel discussion on during the coverage, “Win Stuff” staff will be in the field asking political questions, “Road Trip,” traveled to Raleigh, the state capital, and the sports show “One on One” will be doing a “horserace” segment at the top of each hour.

This show will be the culmination of the election coverage Phoenix 14 has been providing since January.

 

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Responses

  1. Nicely done, all the way around. Comprehensive reporting accomplished on multiple platforms at an excellent level! Brava!

    I also enjoyed reading it on Pendulum Online, but I like your layout here better.

  2. Rachel, I enjoyed reading about how Phoenix14News prepared for its epic election coverage. Thanks!

  3. Rachel, when I take a look at the work you have done over the past few weeks I have to say that you are a candidate for MVP out of a class of excellent reporting students. Take pride in the work you have been doing, and understand the amount you have learned in the process of kicking it in and doing the in-depth reporting and writing we can witness on these pages.

  4. So just when you think the internet is for young folks, my mother found your blog and sent it to me. I was the News Director for Phoenix14News in 2004 when we did similar coverage of that election and really enjoyed reading and watching what you’ve put together here. Nice work!


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