A wild, fun 24 hours of election coverage

Opinion

Tuesday was quite the day trying to cover what was going on with the U.S. election. I have always been a lover of politics, but I find that my interest in the history and current moment are a bit of a passion. The current election is chock full of storylines playing out in front of us; so many focus on the presidential race, but the congressional races can be just as dramatic in telling the story of how the nation shapes itself.

In the morning I started out on RFD-TV and Rural Radio 147 discussing what I was watching out for as the results started to pour in.

At this point in the day, I mentioned that I was watching how Florida would shake out, which proved to be a big win for President Trump.

As the night progressed and results started to come in, it was really a test of the attention span and trying to sort everything out. Whichever channel you were watching, it was interesting to see how they grouped all that data together. For example, John King was on CNN with the board, and moving from county to county comparing to 2016. It’s mind-boggling as a media person to watch that happen — not only what’s happening in front of the camera, but also behind the camera. Networks have teams of people crunching the results to call different races and provide the analysis of the “what if” scenarios.

Many of the political bloggers, writers, analysts, and broadcasters didn’t get much sleep, but pushed through trying to make sure all the angles were covered. As an example, Jim Wiesemeyer of Pro Farmer informed me on Wednesday he got one hour of sleep before he was back at his desk writing again.

Around 8pm MT, I went on a livestream with some of the gang from Farm Journal in the U.S. We talked for 90 minutes on what the impact was going to be on agriculture, based on the various races for the Senate, the House, and the White House. It was a skill test for me, working on something that’s happening live and trying to break down the results for the audience. Definitely not easy at 9pm, but really fun.

After a little sleep I was hoping that I would wake to a decision, but as expected, not much had changed in five hours.

I was able to hop on RFD-TV for a panel discussion to break down what the facts were at that point in the morning. I do these segments every morning at 10 am CT on RFD-TV and Rural Radio 147, which is a great opportunity to give the Canadian perspective on how U.S.-related issues impact Canada.

At that time, the probability was that Biden had a clearer path to victory through Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada.

There are some things that really caught my attention in the last 24 hours. As a Canadian watching another election, I don’t think Americans understand how much American media we actually get here in Canada. I’m going to assume it’s the same thing in Mexico — when you’re adjacent to the largest economy in the world, and it’s also such a big part of your own economic existence, you can’t avoid it. The media doesn’t just stop at the border when you live beside the largest media market in the world.

I know it frustrates some Canadians at times why the U.S. election is in Canadian news, but networks in Canada see their ratings, see the feedback, and see that the numbers show it’s what people want. If people weren’t watching and weren’t craving that information, then they wouldn’t lead with those stories. That’s just the way media works.

I did a few media hits on U.S. farm radio and TV in the past week, and I can say that there is a sincere interest from Americans on why Canadians would care about the U.S. election. If you live in the largest media market in the world, the political elections of other countries would never get coverage. Maybe the winner of an election would make the news five stories deep, but definitely not every turn and development for six months.

I’m a bit of a political junkie, so I’ll follow the election in the U.K. if it’s on the BBC, but the average Canadian is so bombarded and flooded with U.S. election coverage, I think we’re very aware of what many of the issues are in the U.S. election.

No matter what the final result of the U.S. election is, I can say that it’s been so much fun covering it for the RealAgriculture audience and beyond. Thanks to RFD-TV and Farm Journal for giving RealAgriculture a chance to be a part of their coverage.

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