Just in case you haven’t heard the news, election season is upon us. For newsrooms around the country, Election Day is the Super Bowl of local and national news. And much like advertisers paying unfathomable amounts of money for attention during the big game, news stations dig deep into the toy box to attract viewers on the most competitive night of the year.
The Arms Race
The first signs of this Election Night arms race was in the early 2000s, when featured election analysts were shown with laptop computers. In following elections the entire news desk was given laptops and real-time data began to be the main focus of the broadcast.
As technology has improved, so have the newsroom displays. The laptops were ditched for sprawling video walls, and Election Night suddenly became a competition between not only political candidates, but also newsrooms across the country. Let’s take a look at how newsrooms are using digital technology to shape their broadcast.
At the Desk
Photo credit: GeekWire
Laptops have become outdated, as our preference for touchscreen electronics and signage takes over. That means tablets for everyone! Even if the anchors are just playing Candy Crush, these devices are capable of enhancing internal communication, real-time updates and analysis of social media trends (and maybe a little advertising as well).
In the Studio
Photo credit: CNN
Perhaps the biggest shift in newsroom election signs is away from the desk, where networks take full advantage of their massive studios. That’s where we see networks investing a lot of resources in state-of-the-art digital signage. Every election, these digital displays get larger, more capable and more visually stunning.
Photo credit: News 13
While the big national networks have the advantage of seemingly unlimited resources, smaller local networks can upgrade their broadcasts in more subtle ways. Interactive displays are capable of presenting multiple forms of content that can be quickly changed and updated. Viewers favor more visual representations of election updates and digital signage brings those results to life.
Outside the Studio
Photo credit: YouTube
We’ve seen holograms bring music artists back to life, and two elections ago, we saw hologram technology even show up on Election Night. To be clear, CNN’s use of a hologram was actually done using a green screen, so it wasn’t technically a hologram. While the execution of the “hologram” left plenty to be desired, it showed that networks will be looking to push the envelope in new ways every year.
We see amazing displays every election season and we expect that to continue in 2016. The content capabilities of these digital screens make it an obvious move for any newsroom looking to upgrade their Election Night coverage. If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities, visit FASTSIGNS.com, or call us at 800-FASTSIGNS.
Case Study – WOWT NBC Omaha, 6 News
All the President’s Signs: Visual Communication for Political Campaigns