Election night: the news media’s Superbowl

by
Watching election night coverage, an hour of random media observations:

8:20 — I can’t help but hand over the Most Improved Camper award to CNN. The network has come a long way since the primaries in its use of technology and interactive material; its “magic” touchscreen was a silly prop rife with bugs in January, but tonight it’s being used to add solid information and value to the telecast. They’ve also streamlined all the various graphic tallies to be much easier to read than they were nine months ago.

Well done on that point.

8:30 — A new element to the online media evolution: now print publications can join the fun of calling the race in real time. This caught my eye when I logged onto WSJ to see that the outlet called Pennsylvania for Obama. In fact, they beat CNN to the punch by a solid 10 minutes. Is this a window into the future convergence of internet and television? What kind of news alliances can we look forward to as the media merges into one giant reporting mechanism?

8:50 — Fox News has some catching up to do in the technology department. They seem very proud to have a screen that shows red states for McCain and blue states for Obama…and the corresponding electoral votes in a sidebar! Brit Hume tells us it’s called “the launch pad,” and they’re “very excited about it.” I wonder if they ever watch any other channels…? They do have that fancy touchscreen, at least.

9:03 — CNN’s touch screen freezes. Always good fun, even with a quick recovery.

9:10 — And about those print publications…have they completely lost their value? Last week a New Mexico paper declared Obama the winner (tongue in cheek) because their editorial schedule demanded they make a call. That’s weird enough, but what new angles will print media be able to add in tomorrow morning’s editions?

Enough rambling. Normal blog posts to resume forthwith…!

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