Ryersonian team pulls off historic election-night live broadcast
October 26, 2015
by Leah Hansen
The Ryersonian‘s first-ever live election broadcast went off without a hitch, with around 256 people tuning in over the course of the evening.
The broadcast, which ran from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., featured multiple hosts, graphics, and breaking updates, and represents the first time such a large-scale production has been pulled off on campus.
Executive producer of the live broadcast and managing editor of RyersonianTV Cole Deakin said that even though he only pitched the idea for the broadcast about three weeks ago, everything went smoothly on Monday night.
“You’re in school, you’re in your final year, you want to try and get as much experience as you can,” he said. “I do enjoy politics and I really like television, so I wanted an opportunity to do something this big.”
Over 40 students worked together on the broadcast in addition to faculty and staff members, Deakin said. Many who contributed were already Ryersonian masthead members, and the team was rounded out with j-school volunteers who were willing to lend a hand with gathering and organizing data.
“There were so many people who were willing to drop what they were doing and help out with this thing, it was all hands on deck,” Deakin said. “Everybody came through with what they were supposed to do, they did their job and that’s why it was so successful.”
Nadine Habib, a fourth-year bachelor of journalism student and one of the main hosts of the live broadcast, said being part of election coverage was like “Christmas Day, but for journalism,” and was a great way to prepare for a broadcast job in the industry.
“This is what it’s going to be like in the future and this is going to help me to get there,” she said. “It’s just more practice and extra preparation, something I definitely wouldn’t have done had I been anywhere else.”
The team used social media in order to promote the broadcast, Deakin said. Metrics the day after the show revealed that Facebook had been most successful in driving traffic to the broadcast, with 46 per cent of people who watched coming through the site. The Ryersonian‘s own site was next, followed by Twitter.
Deakin said that he hopes that this inaugural broadcast has raised the bar for future cycles of Ryersonian editors, and will push them to be creative and inventive with their time at the paper.
“That’s what you kind of want to do, you want to push people to see what they’re capable of and it’s all in what you make of the experience,” he said. “People know that it’s doable and that they can achieve something like this.”
Although getting to see the number of viewers is nice, it wasn’t a central goal of the broadcast, Deakin said. The experience in itself was preparation for a job in the industry.
“I think that for students to be able to pull this off is huge and I think that this just says something about people’s character and people’s willingness to learn and people’s drive and ambitions,” Deakin said. “To say, as a student, that you were a part of a two-hour live election special for a school is huge. Not many people can say that they were a part of that.”