As the 2016 Presidential Election came to a close on November 8th, millions of Americans sat and waited around their television screens to witness the results. One after the other, a large, gray map of America filled in with either red or blue as the tallies came in.
I, along with my roommates, had been anxiously waiting to see where New Hampshire stood on the political spectrum. As we watched, one of my roommates had been on his phone checking Google to see each state make their final decision.
“North Carolina just finished up. They voted for Trump”, he said. “Watch, CNN is going to show it.”
We waited for the results. After some time, we became curious if they were ever going to announce it. Almost an hour went by before CNN released the results.
By the time we waited for the North Carolina results , three other states had been announced via Google, and CNN was just catching up. on average, they were approximately 4 minutes late to announce the winners of each state. Digital had outpaced them.
Now, this doesn’t go without some speculation. CNN could have been holding off on those results due to their viewership, but even the Hillary votes came in later than what Google had announced, so the speculation wasn’t so much that CNN was distracting us as they weren’t updated as effectively.
The year is 2016 and digital results have now outpaced standard television. With the drama that can unfold with television and ratings on the line, the battleground for viewership needs to take alternative routes to keep engagements rates high. The issue of information didn’t necessarily need to be packaged and sold in a multimillion dollar studio, it needed to be given to viewers as it was.