Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Keeping up with Election Night: media style

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Southeast Missourian reporter Tyler Graef working on Election Night.
Photo by Jacob Scott

The 2016 elections will affect Americans in a multitude of ways—from local elections, state senate and gubernatorial elections, and up to the presidential election. Media professionals in Cape Girardeau handle the elections differently depending on the organizations they’re associated with.

KFVS12, Cape Girardeau’s CBS affiliate, relied on two faculty members from Southeast Missouri State University to provide online commentary as part of their election coverage. Political science professors Rick Althaus and Jeremy Walling shared their expertise by discussing state and local elections. The two noted that the common thread running through most of those elections is the electorate being unhappy with the status quo.

“There just does seem to be an unhappiness, with sort of the way things are,” Walling said.

KFVS12 news editor Roger Seay said the station had several reporters dedicated to election coverage in the field, not counting those working from the station.

“I’ve got seven right now,” Seay said. “Earlier today, I had three more. So we had ten people working on elections out in the field.”

Staff at the Southeast Missourian newspaper were focusing more on local elections, according to editor Bob Miller.

“We’ll probably do some analysis over the next day or two to see how county-by-county voting of the presidential election, things like that,” said Miller. “But for tonight’s purposes, to get the news out—there’s county races, there’s state representatives, there’s the 8th Congressional District, so those races we’ll be following to make sure the readers know about those. Because frankly, everybody’s so caught up in the presidential race, not a lot of people pay attention to the local stuff, unfortunately.”

Tyler Graef, a former Southeast Arrow reporter currently employed by the Southeast Missourian, said the national election news will come from larger news sources.

“It’s exciting, but we’re still just covering the local stuff,” Graef said.

The Arrow, Southeast Missouri State University’s student newspaper, is focusing its energy on informing students about the presidential election, according to editor Breanne Bleichroth

“We’re sort of balancing right now between the Associated Press, CNN and MSNBC on where things are going,” Bleichroth said.

Arrow reporters were reporting from several watch parties across Cape Girardeau on election night.