Liv­ing for the mo­ment

The Covington News - - Opinion -

Jour­nal­ists live for high­stress, late-break­ing mo­ments.

The more un­pre­dictable the bet­ter — that way we can write be­fore hand about what we think is go­ing to hap­pen, then write about what hap­pens and fi­nally write about why what we thought was go­ing to hap­pen ei­ther hap­pened or didn’t hap­pen. That’s a mouth­ful. But we love a good story, and most good sto­ries are born out of th­ese kinds of mo­ments. Elec­tions have be­come, dur­ing my short ca­reer, my fa­vorite events to cover. We build up for weeks talk­ing about the can­di­dates and dis­cussing the is­sues both on the pages of the pa­per and in and around the of­fice. All of which cul­mi­nates in one day of vot­ing and one long night of count­ing.

My elec­tion cov­er­age days have all been un­der the elec­tronic vot­ing sys­tem so the vote count­ing por­tion of the day has been rel­a­tively swift com­pared

The more un­pre­dictable the bet­ter — that way we can write be­fore hand about what we think is go­ing to hap­pen, then write about what hap­pens, and fi­nally write about why what we thought was go­ing

to hap­pen ei­ther hap­pened or didn’t

hap­pen.

to the days of hang­ing chads and fill in the bub­ble bal­lots; how­ever, I’ve cov­ered elec­tions un­til the wee hours of the morn­ing — in­ter­view­ing can­di­dates on the court­house lawn at mid­night is a rush no one can ex­plain. Go ahead and laugh. Jour­nal­ists are a dif­fer­ent breed. We feed on in­for­ma­tion — par­tic­u­larly in­for­ma­tion no one else has but ev­ery one wants.

A ton of plan­ning goes into elec­tion cov­er­age at a news­pa­per. It’s one of the few times in a news­room ev­ery­one jumps on one event to pro­duce an end re­sult. We all have elec­tion night as­sign­ments no mat­ter what we nor­mally cover or do in the news­room.

The an­tic­i­pa­tion that goes along with cov­er­ing an elec­tion is much like what I re­mem­ber about the last day of school.

As the day goes on, the ex­cite­ment builds into an all­out state of delir­ium by the end of the day — that’s what gets us through the night.

Yes­ter­day, we cov­ered the polling places, we staked out the court­house and we held our press time to make sure we could get our read­ers the most com­plete cov­er­age of what New­ton County vot­ers had to say.

We may have been around un­til mid­night but we loved ev­ery minute of it — just ask any one of us.

The added bonus of this elec­tion night is the im­pact th­ese de­ci­sions have on the com­mu­nity. Sadly, even though we held the front page, I don’t have the fi­nal re­sults of Tues­day’s vot­ing.

I can’t talk about the re­sults of the elec­tion or talk about how the re­sults of the elec­tion dif­fer from what I ex­pected to see — my crys­tal ball is much like Tues­day’s skies — just too cloudy to prog­nos­ti­cate.

Robby Byrd

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