Scott Swafford, Covering election night

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Reynolds Fellow Scott Swafford spoke about how to cover election day and night at RJI's "Down-home Democracy: Empowering Citizens With Outstanding Coverage of Local Elections" on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

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  • This particular graphic took a lot of advance work, but these sorts of maps are becoming easier to do all the time. You’ll learn how to do something akin to this in tomorrow morning’s lab session with Chad Day.
  • Scott Swafford, Covering election night

    1. 1. ELECTION NIGHT REPORTING AND MAKING SENSE OF THE DECISIONS VOTERS MAKE
    2. 2. DON’T SELL YOURSELF, OR YOUR READERS, SHORT  Make a commitment to do as much as you can throughout Election Day and on Election Night.  You’ve got that website. Use it.  Don’t cede the news to the competition. Be first, and be comprehensive.  Create a memorable print edition.
    3. 3. WHAT SHOULD WE BE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH?  To share the voices of voters.
    4. 4. WHAT SHOULD WE BE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH?  To share the voices of voters.  To update results and publish final numbers as quickly as possible, online and in print.
    5. 5. WHAT SHOULD WE BE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH?  To share the voices of voters.  To update results and publish final numbers as quickly as possible, online and in print.  To capture the drama and engage in real story-telling.
    6. 6. WHAT SHOULD WE BE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH?  To share the voices of voters.  To update results and publish final numbers as quickly as possible, online and in print.  To capture the drama and engage in real story-telling.  To take excellent documentary photos.
    7. 7. WHAT SHOULD WE BE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH?  To share the voices of voters.  To update results and publish final numbers as quickly as possible, online and in print.  To capture the drama and engage in real story-telling.  To take excellent documentary photos.  To engage in forward-thinking journalism.
    8. 8. PLANNING FOR ELECTION NIGHT  Get everyone on board. (Hire help, if necessary.)
    9. 9. PLANNING FOR ELECTION NIGHT  Get everyone on board. (Hire help, if necessary.)  Learn where candidates will be ahead of time.
    10. 10. PLANNING FOR ELECTION NIGHT  Get everyone on board. (Hire help, if necessary.)  Learn where candidates will be ahead of time.  Decide where photographers should go.
    11. 11. PLANNING FOR ELECTION NIGHT  Get everyone on board. (Hire help, if necessary.)  Learn where candidates will be ahead of time.  Decide where photographers should go.  Create a precise and thorough budget.
    12. 12. PLANNING FOR ELECTION NIGHT  Get everyone on board. (Hire help, if necessary.)  Learn where candidates will be ahead of time.  Decide where photographers should go.  Create a precise and thorough budget.  Pre-write, pre-write, pre-write — then pre-edit.
    13. 13. PLANNING FOR ELECTION NIGHT  Get everyone on board. (Hire help, if necessary.)  Learn where candidates will be ahead of time.  Decide where photographers should go.  Create a precise and thorough budget.  Pre-write, pre-write, pre-write — then pre-edit.  Consider non-narrative templates.
    14. 14. WORKING THE POLLS  Ground rules.  Engage in conversation, not interrogation.  Learn to have a thick skin; be polite and professional.  Exit surveys?
    15. 15. EXAMPLES: PRINT & ONLINE
    16. 16. EXAMPLES: PRINT & ONLINE
    17. 17. EXAMPLES: ONLINE
    18. 18. Results graphics Mapping election results precinct by precinct can reveal interesting patterns.

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