Monday, November 05, 2007

Countdown to elections

There is a lot of last-minute scrambling in the newsroom on the day before elections.
We got our manifest for Wednesday's paper this afternoon. (You know the newsroom gets to fill around the ads, not the other way around, right?)
We usually have an entire section of the paper designated for election results -- but not this year. They are installing a new press and until it is fully functional, we can only get four sections in the paper.
It's true, sometimes you get a paper with more than four sections but that only means some of those were printed ahead of time and then stuffed into the paper (as was our 44-page election preview). Kind of tough to do that on deadline, though, so the election "section" will actually be the back of the A section. Hope it's easy for you to navigate.
We've talked a little about what will go on Page 1 on Wednesday. Like I said in a previous post, we like the county sales tax hike and the Lorain and Elyria mayoral elections for Page 1. But we also like any upsets, any unseated incumbents. They'll be considered for the front page, too.
We also plan for photos and -- much to the dismay of our chief photographer, Bruce Bishop -- we set up assignments for just about everyone since we don't know who the winners will be. He'll bring in his entire crew to help out election night.
Almost everyone in the newsroom will shift their hours to work Tuesday night. There will be a skeleton staff around during the day in case any other news breaks. We've always joked that election day would be a good day for a criminal to rob a bank -- at least as far as newspapers are concerned. I think the police are still at full shift that day.
But I'll be in early and take a break in the afternoon before coming back for all the excitement.
Our Gal Friday, metro desk assistant Paulanne Oakes, always makes sure everyone in the newsroom has plenty to eat on election night. She plans and cooks and orders and no one ever goes home hungry.
Exhausted, yes, but not hungry.

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