The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only how Election Day has run for voters, but also impacted the way we as journalists covered the polls. During times of normalcy, The Post newsrooms would be packed with journalists, photographers, designers, copy editors and more on Election Night. Nevertheless, that wasn’t the reality this year.
Despite our immense amount of social media live coverage, our social media director worked remotely, most of our news reporters worked remotely and we had to shift how we attacked the night’s coverage.
This year’s election coverage from The Post heavily featured data visualization and live coverage. Reporters started social media coverage at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, and the final people to leave the newsroom on Wednesday walked out the door shortly after 10 a.m. The night and election were long — it’s not over, actually — but these are the kinds of nights that make memories.
Though Election Night was filled with the necessary socially distanced pizza eating and mask wearing, it was still a night where Posties could bond and really delve into the experiential learning side of The Post. Last night, Post reporters weren’t simply students studying journalism — they were full-fledged journalists reporting important election results and news to their audience and readers.
Furthermore, Election Night provided The Post staff with some much-needed bonding and camaraderie. Last night was the first time a couple Post staff members were able to step foot into and experience the newsroom. For others, it was the first time they had met any other Posties face-to-face instead of over Zoom. Either way, it was a nice time to safely break away from isolation, see some friendly faces and do something we all love and enjoy.
Nevertheless, Election Night is turning into Election Week. Early during Wednesday morning, President Trump gave a White House address on the status of the election. There, the president not only alleged voter fraud, but affirmed that he had already won the election. Factually incorrect at the time, Trump’s assertions heightened tensions among the American people, as he promised to involve the U.S. Supreme Court in the election results.
As of Wednesday night, complete election results aren’t in. Regardless of that, journalists and news publications — including The Post — will continue to report on the election as the future of America hangs in the balance.