Obama’s latest challenge: bridging the gap

Former foreign correspondent for CNN, Mike Chinoy

By Tam Yat Pang

Former foreign correspondent for CNN, Mike Chinoy, said that presidential election result shown the country was divided evenly, President Obama have to face the challenge of bridging the gap between the democratic and republican parties.

According to CNN projections, President Barack Obama has surpassed critical 270 votes in the Electoral College to win re-election and defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Although Obama received nearly 100 more electoral votes than Romney, there was not more than 2% difference in popular votes between two candidates.

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New York Times tries to stay ahead of the game

With the increased importance of social media, Leonard Apcar, economics editor in Washington for New York Times, has to find ways to survive in the so-called “sunset industry” in printed media.

By Karen Chan

The presidential election in the U.S. is not only a huge event for U.S. residents, but it is also a battle for the news media too. As a traditional newspaper with long history and high reputation, New York Times has tried to adopt a new way to cover the election.

Leonard Apcar, economics editor in Washington at the New York Times, says coverage of the presidential election has changed.

“We have created a new app for the election. Readers can get an easy access to our stories. We have a Twitter account, and reporters ‘tweet’ their stories there; there is always an election graphic map to show the electoral votes that both the candidates have,” he said.  He added there is many new blogs, with one called Five thirty eight that looks at election statistics.

Beyond multimedia elements, Apcar says the New York Times is trying to improve the quality of their stories.

“For the election, we have prepared a lot about the candidates, especially Mitt Romney. If he wins, what will be the effect on Wall Street or the economy in the future? It will be a totally different story if Romney wins. No matter how, we have to prepare a lot before the result comes out,” Apcar said.

For the New York Times, there are around 12 reporters covering this year’s presidential election.

A digital election day puts focus on social media

Close-up on election day

By Phoebe Chau and Ryan Fung

Election day was finally here. After a two-hour drive from D.C., we arrived at Omni Richmond Hotel, Virginia, where the Republican Party was to hold its election party.

The weather was cold, but the hotel was filled with passionate supporters and hard-working reporters from all over the States. As the only Hong Kong media here, we worked with Voice of America to cover the election online.

To try to boost readership, we used social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to do live reporting from the site. At the hotel, we saw most people carrying smartphones, not digital cameras. We thus believe that the importance of social media will only become greater in the near future.

Staying at one of the tables for the press, we enjoy our experience in doing live reporting for the U.S. presidential election.

Election day a mighty lesson for new multimedia journalists

Be a multi-tasking journalist

On election day, Karen and I were assigned to go to a polling station in Rosslyn, Virginia, a swing state.

We got up early in the morning at 5 a.m. and looked for voters to interview. Our assignment was to record a sound bite (better to be a Chinese speaker), take photos and videos in one-man band. After the interview, we had to send the photos and audio to RFA immediately. We had a lot concerns on our minds. Where would we find internet? Would the quality of the sound bite be useable? Would the language barrier be a problem? Those were huge difficulties we had to tackle.

That day, everything went smoothly. We did street interviews as people queued up at the polling stations, and we even got in the polling station with media passes. It was a great and unique experience.

After two hours of intense work, we got to rest and see our report get published. It was like witnessing my baby being born.