Junior in Washington Semester Program Witnesses History in the Making

Bovat ’14 tracks election results at NBC

November 7th, 2012 by 

The moment the first two state polls closed at 6 p.m., the news desk managers and I kicked into high gear as we zipped our eyes from computer screen to competing television stations in anticipation for the presidential election results.

On a typical day, I work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for political talk show “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” but the election gave me the opportunity to work in a somewhat new environment — the newsroom.

Watching the results in the fast-paced atmosphere of the NBC Washington, D.C. bureau was an incredibly invigorating feeling. Although a nightly talk show certainly demands prompt response, the energy in the newsroom on election night was incomparable.

I had several television broadcasting networks playing in addition to an internal network election poll application on my desktop computer that allowed me to observe results. I was blissfully happy by the speed in which I was able to instantaneously attain information from various sources at once. You know the feeling you get when you’re among the first to read breaking news on Twitter? Multiply that by 10.

The excitement and suspense seemed to grow stronger as the night went on and as results steadily came pouring in.

One aspect of my internship that has consistently impressed me is the genuine passion that every department of the D.C. bureau has for politics. From the hosts, producers, bookers, technical staff, and interns such as myself, everyone is eager to discuss important domestic issues on and off the set. This is a quality that cannot be faked for the camera.

This natural energy was elevated even further on election night. Casual conversations about historical election trends to the current voting demographics carried on. From an aspiring journalist’s perspective, the opportunity to be surrounded by such innovative technology and seasoned professionals was an unforgettable experience. The fast-paced atmosphere is what drives me to the industry and working on election night offered me the first-hand experience I was craving.

As a proud American citizen, however, I also realized that I was part of something huge. As I monitored the ballot numbers climbing on the computer screen, I would catch myself pausing to reflect. I could not help but appreciate what each increased poll for a first-time woman candidate or openly gay member of Congress said about the country’s rather recent strides.

Ultimately, the energy that fueled my tireless pace in the newsroom was driven by the pride I have for my country, and that sentiment alone is what truly made my 2012 election night in Washington D.C. truly unforgettable.

Sara Bovat ’14 is currently participating in the Washington Semester Program. She is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs at Holy Cross.

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