Giving Tuesday December 1 2020

Your newsroom’s Election Day playbook

October 30, 2020 11:00

Election week is "all hands on deck" in newsrooms, with a single-minded focus on election coverage.
Be sure you're ready with our pre-Election Day checklist for newsrooms.
Solidify Your Strategy
By now you’ve tossed your past Election Day playbooks. You know why this year’s different and your old plan is toast. You know how much journalism matters to democracy, and you’ve coached your team on your newsroom’s role in the democratic process. You’re taking steps to combat voting misinformation, disinformation and confusion.
Build Your Playbook
Now it’s time to make a plan to demonstrate credibility and earn trust with your election coverage. Determine how you’ll evaluate your election coverage with key questions to ask as you go. Then walk your team through different election week scenarios and confirm your response plan so you’re less likely to be caught off guard by surprises. Don’t stop with a coverage plan, though. Plan for the logistics of non-stop coverage that could go on for days with our guidelines designed for covering major weather events but also relevant to preparation for and coverage of other big events like elections.
Bookmark Key Resources
Take Care of Your Team
One last piece of any election coverage plan that’s missing from most election prep resources (but is crucial to any newsroom’s performance) is how you’ll take care of yourself and your team. Recognize signs of burnout and take these steps to get your team in peak shape to perform at their best during election coverage. Keep these quick tips for staying focused and energized during crunch time handy. Share with your team (and try them yourself) when you see signs of fatigue. Teams also need to know there’s an end in sight. The news may never stop, but even journalists need breaks from time to time. Reward yourself and your team for a job well done with a break once you’ve made it through crunch time.
Know We've Got Your Back!
Election week is a full-team effort here at RTDNA too, protecting the rights of journalists - and voters - to complete and accurate information. We'll be standing by to provide rapid response to your press freedom questions and have your back when you hit roadblocks. Contact our Voice of the First Amendment Task Force at
Good luck and thank you for the important part you play in the democratic process!