Journ Student Jess

Student journalist looking for feedback on assignments and journalism in general

What I’ve learned about elections, so far at least

with 6 comments

It was a long second day at the Saginaw News. I was supposed to work a night shift but showed up at the office bright and early. My editor figured since I was there, I might as well be writing so I got in on the latest action in Saginaw.

Turns out the Buena Vista Schools district shut down operations as of last night, letting go of all their employees and terminating all benefits. MLive’s education reporter (and fellow Chippewa) Lindsay Knake spent hours finding new angles and sources for the ongoing controversy before covering the school board’s community meeting later that night. It was also an election night for Hemlock, Swan Valley and my hometown of Midland so I was called in as reinforcements.

Thanks to Twitter, I learned Huffington Post had picked up the story about the Buena Vista schools closing and informed my editor. We quickly found other links to make an aggregation post, combining articles and sources from various publications across the nation. I was pretty pleased with the end result, which changed frequently throughout the process due to updates and more coverage. To read the full article, click here. 

Later that night, I talked with city and county clerks in Midland and began watching the election results page for any early precinct calculations. Yesterday I posted an article about a new technology bond initiative, introduced by the Midland Public Schools, that aimed to put an iPad in the hand of every student in the district. That proposal, along with a $54 million sinking fund renewal, was not passed by voters, with more information about the results here.

At the end of the day, I started to reflect on working Election Day in 2012. It was a very important and very hectic night working in Bay County; many precincts had trouble tallying votes and key sources were not picking up phones to comment. I remember leaving the county building around 4 a.m. with another reporter, walking back to the office to pound out a couple stories and being told to go home and get some rest by my editor. But only until 8 a.m., when the stories needed to be done to publish on MLive’s river of content.

Thankfully, I am working from home tonight and am able to make a quick getaway in order to sleep. Of all the things I have learned about working election nights, it is this: do not underestimate a good nap and an even better cup of coffee. Have a great night, readers!



Written by hayne2jr

May 8, 2013 at 3:51 am

6 Responses

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  1. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Cheers

    Andria Bedney

    May 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    • Thanks for letting me know, Andria, I will check my blog on Firefox and see if I can figure something out myself. If not, I’ll have to contact WordPress for some technology help. Have a great day!


      May 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

  2. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Many thanks!

    Colin Lamparski

    May 14, 2013 at 3:20 am

    • Hi, Colin, feel free to ask any questions you have, I will try to reply as soon as possible (which isn’t always very fast.) After writing all day, it is understandable that you can’t clear your mind, I always have a bunch of things running through mine! Usually, I try to take a little walk to get the blood flowing and figure out what I have learned over the past few days and could be interesting to pass along to other journalism students. An outline of the post is a good way to plan it and physically see the different parts of your blog. If you lose track of your thoughts, step away and come back in 10 minutes or the next morning. Fresh perspectives always helps, hope I did!


      May 14, 2013 at 10:22 pm

  3. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap solutions with others, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    Elicia Jeanjacques

    May 15, 2013 at 7:19 am

    • I did at first but now the people who are commenting seem to be real, so I’m happy. Does it help to designate comments as spam, as a way of preventing the same account from posting again? Thanks for letting me know about this issue!


      May 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

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