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Election Stories

      By now, you've all chosen candidates, done your reporting and begun to write.

   As a frame of reference, here's the assignment I got from the New York Times and what I filed throughout the day, with annotations.

  Turned out, by the way, that none of this ended up in the paper because The Times didn't do a separate story out of Florida.


New York Times Assignment

From Abby Goodnough, Miami bureau chief


For a story called MOOD. First File.  Second File.
Clearly the main question is how many -- or how few -- seats are the Democrats going to pick up in the House and Senate, so interviews with voters will be very important. What led them to vote as they did: issues, ads, surrogates, candidate personalities, etc? Did they think they witnessed more political high ground or low ground this election season?

Try to draw out the interview subjects, to really get behind their thinking. One good, lengthy, intelligent quote trumps five people who say the same thing the same way.

Look for last-minute get-out-the-vote efforts, glad-handing by candidates, any unusual celebratory plans, etc.

Ideally you can make a few rounds of polling places at different times of day. Figure on filing around 11 a.m., 2:30 (after the noon rush), and in the late afternoon. Think about material that might come in handy for follow-up, what-does-it-all mean stories that will be written Wednesday for Thursday.

For a second story called VOTING:
Keep a watchful eye out for voting machines that don't work, clashes between those who feel they are entitled to vote and those who disagree, long lines at polls, scrambles to get judges to keep polls open late, etc. Didn't turn out to file anything on this.


For Negron election night HQ
No specific assignment; guess bureau chief figured I'd know what to do.





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