Monday, November 17, 2008


This is reporter Aaron Faulk. I don't think he had just cast his ballot.

I was lucky enough to work the night of the elections and I made some interesting observations from that night. I hesitate to get too detailed about what I observed but I will say that some things took me off guard.

Observation Number One: The folks who ordered the pizza for the newsroom are very astute when it comes to good taste. No 'cheese and sauce over cardboard' for election night. It was awesome.

Observation Number Two: You can never judge a book by it's cover. Meaning, some folks who I had thought were one way, politically, were extremely opposite what they appeared.

Observation Number Three: I need to preface this last observation by saying that this was just merely an 'observation.' I don't mean to judge anyone of any persuasion on this issue, it just took me off guard.

I noticed, and was quite surprised at the boisterous reaction in the newsroom as election results began coming in, from people on BOTH sides, and especially when the winner was announced. Now granted, this wasn't exactly a 'public' display for the world to see, it's likely those reactions would never make their way into print. And I think some of the ruckus could have been directed at what America had accomplished as a country in electing an African American president. However, regardless of who you support, Obama or McCain, BYU or Utah, Pro or Anti Voucher, Weber State or Idaho State, Raptors or Owlz, Banks or Credit Unions I think we as journalists should be very private about our personal opinions.

I remember one of the very first sporting events I ever covered at Weber State. I caught myself cheering in the press area during a key moment in the game and the reporter respectfully leaned over and told me that it wasn't appropriate to show a side, one way or the other. I talked with the adviser later that week where I learned more about the role of our profession. Since then I have been very careful to keep my opinions private. Of course sporting events are much less meaningful than political issues but most of us know not to cheer while covering a game. Political issues mean more and can have a more serious polarizing effect. Personally, I try and stay away from those discussions, and have turned down political friends in O-Town who have asked if we would put a sign in the yard.

I know it may seem hypocritical that I occasionally wear around a Utah Jazz hat. Just try and catch me wearing it while covering a game.

1 comment:

Andrew E. Clark said...

Nice. I really enjoyed this insight.
It made me think back to the two presidential elections I spent in the Standard-Examiner newsroom.
We all knew pretty much where each other stood. And we all respected eachother's opinions for the most part. There were a few heated discussions here and there.
I would have thought sharing your political views in the newsroom of all places would be off-limits, but the views were very balanced between all parties and we had a pretty good mix: Clinton, Bushes I and II, Kerry, Nader and Gore. I guess the paper reflected that balance because we'd get nasty letters from all sides accusing the whole paper of a major bias in every direction -which always made me laugh. Anyway, great post.

By the way, where was the pizza from?