The latest episode of 'Succession' was an anxiety-inducing ride through election night. Here's what the episode got right and wrong about working election night in a newsroom.
It's true. You really should wear comfortable shoes on election night.
It's not true that decision calls are left up to media executives.
Warning: There are major spoilers ahead!
The latest episode of "Succession" was a nail-biting, anxiety-inducing, roller coaster ride of...nope, can't say that word. Let's just say it was a mess as it documented how the fictional news network, ATN, covered a high-stakes presidential election.
It chronicled with intense pace as the journalists and the Roy clan battled each other to name who the next president of the United States would be — even if it may not be totally accurate.
By the episode's end, Roman's pick — Mencken, who's giving Trump vibes — is named the winner by ATN. It comes despite some votes in Wisconsin not being counted due to a mysterious fire and due to some serious election interference by the youngest Roy. Meanwhile, Shiv is found out for dealing with Matsson on the side, and Kendall is dealing with his own issues as he considers how the election will affect ordinary people, like his daughter, from a changing cultural tide.
Still, what did the episode get right about working election night as a journalist? Well, lots.
Wearing comfortable shoes is a must: The episode opens with a hilarious moment as people question why Tom is wearing hard-soled shoes since they're not comfortable. It's true: On election night, people who aren't on camera tend to dress comfortably as it's often a long night. Depending on the newsroom — and I've worked in many on election night — it may even involve running back and forth to the studio, up and down stairs. So yes, wear comfortable shoes.
You will eat in the newsroom: It may not be sushi with a side of some spicy wasabi dashed with LaCroix, but it's often hard to order food on election night, which is notoriously busy. The newsrooms that I've worked in, however, typically pick the easy route and order pizzas and salads.
Technical difficulties happen: And when they do everyone is asking, and asking, and asking what happened, who did it, and when will it be fixed — just like when the touchscreens broke and Tom asked why, then Kendall asked why. That wasn't an exaggeration, sadly.
Here's what it got wrong:
Decision desk calls aren't made by executives: Each newsroom has a standard practice on how their Decision Desk operates. NBC breaks down how theirs operates here. In summary, it "uses exit poll data to determine whether uncompetitive races can be called. Most races are called based on analyses of precinct- and county-level vote returns. The analyses also examine differences between early and Election Day votes. In close contests, a careful analysis of how much of the vote has not been counted is a crucial part of the process. No race is projected until the Decision Desk is at a minimum 99.5 percent confident of the winner."
Read the original article on Insider