Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Election Day Journal Tuesday, 4/4/06....

2:00 a.m. At work for a potentially long day. It always starts the same. I check my e-mail, voice mail and run a spyware program on the computer. Until 6 a.m. I write news, edit sound (taped interviews) and get news ready for our live morning newscasts.

5:00 a.m. I call our friendly area Sheriff's Departments and the State Patrol to see what's happened overnight. After that I spend some time editing our online newsletter KFIZ Today.

6:00 a.m. Our live newscasts begin. I enjoy this part of the day because even though I've been up now for several hours we help get other peoples' days started.

9:00 a.m. I start making phone calls to area school districts to confirm who we need to talk to for election results. Calls are also made to candidates to see where they will be for interviews this evening.

9:30 a.m. Off to the Fond du Lac Police Department to check through their reports. At 10 a.m. I drive out to a Highway 41 southbound exit ramp for a work zone safety press conference. It's sunny, windy and the traffic roars by the site, but three area workers have been killed in the last three years so it's important to be there.

12 p.m. I'm now at the Holiday Inn in Fond du Lac to cover the Fond du Lac Area United Way's annual awards luncheon. A good meal and some good company. On my way home, a little after 1 p.m. , I stop to vote. At 1:30 I stop home to catch a quick cat nap. It's going to be a late night.

2:30 p.m. Back on my way to work where I will again check e-mail, voice mail, edit sound from the press conference and awards luncheon and write stories. I then start putting together an elections result section for the newsletter and website.

6 p.m. I do some editing on tomorrow's edition of the newsletter and continue to work on newstories. An hour later I heat up some clam chowder in the station's microwave and munch on that while I continue preparation for election coverage.

8:00 p.m. Since we are carrying the Milwaukee Brewer's game we have to insert election reports during the game, but we're also updating results on the website. During this time I am updating the website, making calls to interview and congratulate the winners, doing reports and taking information from Wade Bates who's at the City-County Government Center to get Fond du Lac County results.

10:00 p.m. Most of the election results are final, but results for the Ripon Schools' referendum don't become final until the next hour. While I'm waiting I begin writing up stories on the results and editing sound for the next morning's newscasts.

11:45 p.m. I record two overnight newscasts with some of the results and teasing the morning newscasts. Afterwards I continue working on stories and editing sound from interviews.

1:10 a.m. My brain has now reached the mush stage and rather than write up something that's pretty pedestrian I decide to go home and catch a couple hours of shut eye. I do a last minute check of the station kitchen to make sure the coffee makers are off, turn off the lights and go home.

1:30 a.m. I'm home finally where I can get about two hours of sleep before going back to work to finish up election stories and begin what I hope will be a much shorter day. I'll pay for the long day, but it won't really hit me until Thursday. Is it all worth it? Sure I love what I'm doing! The only real disappointment is that just 20-to-30 percent of those who are registered to vote will have exercised that right. Glad I was one of them!