Fox News and Twitter team up to report on election night

By Natan Edelsburg 

Election day is finally here. The next 24 hours will unleash a plethora of information across the social web that might often be hard to understand. On November 1st, Twitter launched a new political engagement map, which they described here. Tonight, the social platform is teaming up with Fox News “to bring viewers the latest on Twitter and other data analytics, first on FOX.” We interviewed Fox News anchor Jenna Lee about how the network is planning to use social TV throughout the day.

Lee is the youngest anchor in cable news and personally uses social to understand what their viewers are thinking. She discusses how important it has been to the network to team up exclusively with Twitter. This election night will be a telling moment to uncover if all of the buzz and chatter can actually be made sense of. Is Twitter reporting the news or is the news reporting on Twitter? For this election it seems the answers is both for sure.

Lost Remote: With the Hurricane, how has election coverage changed? Does the rest of the country care as much as the east coast about the storm?
Jenna Lee: The Hurricane certainly provided some reminder of what’s truly important – and sometimes, in the midst of the “silly season” it’s easy to forget what really matters. Especially in that context, I think the country does care about the storm. It’s been my experience that even if we’re not directly connected to an event like a terrible storm or a community tragedy, our hearts still break for those effected and we all want to learn more about what’s happening and how to help.

LR: How has Fox News been using social platforms for election coverage? How have you?
Lee: Fox has teamed-up exclusively with Twitter for some great minute-by-minute information during election night. For example, we’ll be reporting on when the most Twitter activity is happening and what topics are trending. This is just one way we can take a snapshot of how some Americans are engaging with this election and then share that picture with our viewers. Personally, I use Twitter to search for news, to see what newsmakers are saying and to connect with our audience; it’s a great way to find out what our viewers are thinking, what questions they want asked and how to provide the best coverage.

LR: Besides Twitter, which social platforms are important?
Lee: Fox has its own unique social platform and our production team is really incredible. We have a great live streaming show with a live chat that provides a “town hall” experience for our viewers online – we coordinate this with our broadcast coverage as well so viewers can interact with our anchors and guests, participate in longer discussions and ask their questions directly.

LR: How has this election been different than the last? How will next be different?
Lee: While it wasn’t a president election, the last election cycle in 2010 really is notable because of the striking emergence of the Tea Party movement. I’ll be curious to see the effect of this grass-roots movement in 2012 (not only in the presidential election but congressional elections as well), and how it evolves over the next 2-4 years.

LR: How has social on air helped drive engagement online?
Lee: Social media is really becoming a strong part of our daily reporting. It’s one way to go “to the source” and directly follow campaigns and their message – and I think it encourages our viewers to do the same.

LR: Anything else you’d like to share about reporting on election night?
Lee: Buckle-up. It’s going to be a fun night!