Written by Carter Thweatt // Photo by Madison Meyer
Harding’s HU16 broadcast station was on the air live on Nov. 8 to livestream Arkansas’ midterm election results, producing a special broadcast that occurs once every two years.
The show began when polls closed at 7:30 p.m. with reporters stationed at the White County Cooperative Extension Office. Senior Morgan Wrigley, who anchored the show, said the special election coverage was very different from the daily HU16 newscasts.
“This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this,” Wrigley said. “We do a live show every day, but it’s only for 30 minutes, so anchoring an hours-long live broadcast is a completely new experience.”
Junior reporter Mattie Powers agreed but said the “newness” of this broadcast drew her to it.
“At HU16, we typically do the same routine,” Powers said. “So to get to do something that’s different and special is something I want to be part of.”
Senior reporter Ethan Conn participated in the special election coverage in 2020 but said he expected this one to go a little bit smoother.
“That show was in the height of the pandemic,” Conn said. “It was very restricted and difficult.”
All those involved were excited about the special broadcast. However, Powers was extra excited because of the special role she got to play.
“My job is to be reporting from the actual place where people are voting,” Powers said. “I think it will be really neat to talk to Searcy locals about their thoughts, feelings and whatever else will be on their mind.”
Many involved in the show were hoping for more than just a smooth show — they were hoping the show could win them some accolades, as well.
“Special shows like this are a chance for HU16 to win some awards,” Wrigley said. “That would be really cool.”
It remains to be seen if the show will be an award-winning one, but the HU16 team enjoyed it regardless. Conn summed up what was special about a show like this.
“We are prepared to deal with the unexpected, and with elections, who knows what will happen?” Conn said. “We have a great team for this project, so I’m excited to see how we deal with the pressure when the time comes.”