Small town newspaper editor reflects on thirty years of election coverage to now

By Shauna McGinn & Lauren Sproule
Nov. 8, 2016

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. – Tom Graser remembers when Americans used to go to bed on election night without knowing who would be leading their country the next day. The veteran reporter and current editor of the Ogdensburg Journal recalled how people would have to wake up early to grab the paper off of their front porch to find out which presidential candidate won the night before. He said the differences in election reporting then and now are drastic.

Graser is in awe that this election could result in the first female President of the United States, considering he used to believe he would never see that in his lifetime. Though he mentioned that his awe may be different from how the younger generation in his newsroom feels about the topic.

This election has been unprecedented, and at times bizarre, for a number of obvious reasons. But Graser made a good, simple point about why exactly things have unfolded this way: fringe candidates clung onto their popularity rather than see it dissipate.

In a final quip about how much election coverage has changed over the years, Graser joked that his toughest task tonight, aside from refreshing vote count web pages, will be deciding what kind of pizza to order. No waiting for a paper on the front step; Graser, his news team, and the rest of America will know within hours who exactly will be President when they wake up tomorrow.