By Russell Varner
November 4, 2008
Elon’s Phoenix14 News is looking to set a new high bar this Election Day by having up to seven hours of coverage of tonight’s monumental Presidential Election, the longest continuous live broadcast Phoenix14 has ever attempted.
“Our goal was to do something similar to what [CNN or ABC] do,” said senior Kevin Kline, news director for Phoenix14. “Sure, you could watch CNN or ABC or NBC and get the election results, but we are the only ones doing this as Elon students, something you can’t get anywhere else.”
Kline shall spend most of tonight in the “Fast-Track Data Center,” updating the newscast as soon as the results from different states are announced. Along with “Fast-Track” updating the results, the show will include panel discussions from resident experts, stories on different aspects of the election, reporters out in the field with live shots, a microblog on Twitter, and sophomores Joey Accordino and Chris Bunn from ETV’s ‘One On One Sports’ will come and give a “horse race analysis” of the election.
“This is all about the experience and trying to take a chance,” said Kline. “This live stuff is what we live for, what we do television for.”
While Kline will spend the night behind the scenes, sophomore Nick Ochsner will spend the evening in working behind the scenes. As one of the two normal anchors for Phoenix14 News, Ochsner is used to spending his time in front of the camera, but doesn’t mind working backstage for the evening.
“It’ll be interesting to see how it goes,” he said. “I don’t think many [colleges] are going live for this long. It’s a mammoth undertaking and it will be tough to keep everyone up to date. But I love how our entire show has come together to help with this. In total, we will have 55 people working tonight.”
Politics have always been a big part of Phoenix14 News. Four years ago, during the last Presidential Election, Phoenix14 had an election show similar to the one this year, except it only lasted six hours. As Kline put it, “Political coverage has always been in our boldstream. We have a history with these kind of things.” Phoenix14 also had stories and special features for former President Bill Clinton and Senator Sarah Palin’s visits to Elon.
When all is said and done, it will be the experience that these reporters and staff members will most take away from this. “We see it as an opportunity to be public servants and that feeling is just incredible,” said Kline.
When asked what he is most looking forward to, Ochsner thought for only a split-second and responded with one simple word: “Sleep.”