The 2020 election represents the first time Latinos will be the largest ethnic minority block in the electorate, and they may likely be the demographic that decides this year’s election, especially in swing states like Arizona, Florida and Texas.
With that in mind, Noticias Telemundo is acutely aware of the massive responsibility it has in delivering the most accurate, up-to-date information on election night.
We caught up with the Telemundo svp for elections and special projects Patsy Loris late last week to learn more about what Telemundo will be delivering to its audience on Tuesday, and how the pandemic has influenced broadcasting from its Miami campus.
This will be Loris’ first time running election night coverage at Telemundo. She arrived at the network in July 2019 after three decades at Univision, where she was most recently evp of news.
TVNewser: What can we expect from Telemundo’s election night coverage that we didn’t see in 2016?
Loris: This is a historic election for a number or reasons. It’s the first time that Latinos are expected to be the largest ethnic minority voting bloc in the electorate. The election is also being held in the middle of a pandemic disproportionately affecting our viewers. So we’re planning to significantly raise the bar not only on the scope of our coverage but also the depth of our analysis and how we leverage technology to share minute-by-minute information with our viewers. We plan to use an array of virtual storytelling tools in our election night coverage including sophisticated on-air graphics and augmented reality displays with an emphasis on data and visual effects.
On the digital front, we will have a constant news stream that will be available around the clock across all our digital platforms. We also want to engage our audience. We built a special social media set that will show viewers the online conversations taking place on Election Day across the country. We will also have reporters looking at social media misinformation and disinformation through fact-checking platforms including our recently launched T Verifica.
This has been a significant year for Noticias Telemundo. We have expanded our news coverage with new newscasts. We are the only Spanish-language network to have conducted interviews with both President Trump and Joe Biden. On election night, we are culminating a yearlong effort to inform and engage Latinos in the electoral process with comprehensive coverage, correspondents reporting from across the country, sophisticated visual displays and a lot more data to make sure our viewers are fully informed.
To what extent has Covid changed how you’re covering the big night?
Like a lot of news organizations, we’ve had to rethink our approach and it has required extensive planning. Most of our news team has been working remotely since March and we have been able to quickly adapt.
On election night, all production and some nonproduction personnel will come in, but most nonproduction employees will work from home. The employees, news staff and crew will work under strict safety procedures following CDC and Comcast NBCUniversal guidelines. We have months of experience with this new working reality, and we will continue to provide our viewers, as always, with the most factual and reliable information.
How have you determined what you want to do in person versus remote?
Keeping our colleagues safe has been and continues to be our top priority. We’ve learned this year how to strike the right balance between production and nonproduction employees and that experience will help us on election night. We will be taking all the necessary precautions for the staff that will be in Telemundo Center to support our continuous on-air coverage.
This year’s election may not be decided on Nov. 3, or even Nov. 4. Do you have coverage plans set if this goes on for longer than usual, and if so, what are they?
We have prepared for several different coverage scenarios: Election Day, election week or election month. We will have staff on standby. No matter how this plays out, we plan to offer minute-by-minute coverage of the latest developments for our audience.