Friday, November 07, 2008

Election Post-Mortem

On the industry:
If nothing else, November 5 made you excited to be a journalist. Beyond all of the great stories and analysis coming out of news outlets across the country, the best sight that any journo could ask for was commonplace in gas stations, bookstores and supermarkets: empty newspaper racks.

People grabbed up newspapers in droves, leaving latecomers with no chance of even seeing the newspaper, let alone reading it. I got a call from a woman around 6 p.m. that evening. She'd been loking for a newspaper all day and wanted to know if we had one. I transferred her downstairs to the main newsroom where we certainly had a stack of papers on the common table. I don't know if they gave her one though.

My sister text me from New York, asking if I could get her a copy of my paper. She wanted to save it. My other sister text me from Michigan, asking if I knew whether the New York Times and Chicago Tribune would sell their papers online. I sent her the order information.

Point is, something important happened and people turned not to radio, not to TV, not to the Internet, but to newspapers to document it. Now, I know most won't read those papers. They'll be wrapped in plastic bags and placed on shelves to be pulled out 50 years from now as souveniers. I'll accept that. But it still speaks to our importance as a medium; as the first draft of history.

On the stories:
Someone pointed out the big project that Newsweek does after every election with embargoed material. I read the Cliffnotes version and I'm really excited to read the entire article when it comes out in print soon. Some of the stuff are off the cuff remarks, or weird pieces of information (Palin stepped out of the bathroom in nothing but a towel to greet two reporters in her hotel room before saying she'd be right back), but some of the inner workings they discuss (computer programs to track new voters and hacking attempts on both McCain and Obama's web sites) are really interesting.

And some of the stories have just been really good. I just heard about this one from the Washington Post. It really kind of drove home how important of a moment this election was and how truely historic it was. And it tugged at my heartstrings at the end. Tears did well. I will admit. They didn't fall, but oh, they welled. Read it. And check out the accompanying audio/photo slideshow.

Posted by T Dot at 4:19 PM | link

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