How it's done: CBC Decision Desk FAQs
CBC News covers Northwest Territories votes on three media: TV, radio and online. Although the web, TV and radio are using their own journalists to prepare and present individual stories for the audience, behind the scenes it's one crew that crunches the numbers and provides the stats.
Mark Bulgutch, senior executive producer of CBC News, is a veteran leader of CBC's election coverage team. He answers some viewer questions about CBC's election coverage.
Q: How does CBC News report the results of an election?
A: When the results of a poll come in to our central desk, they are entered into our computer system. The results from that district and other districts are collected into one database and made available to all our journalists and the behind-the-scenes crew who put them on the air on radio and television, and online at CBC.ca.
Q: Who is behind the scenes?
A: In television there is a producer and several assistants who analyze the trends, choose the next guest and select which of the results coming in at that moment are the most interesting for the host to talk about on the air. Often these decisions are made on the fly, so while the host is talking about one topic he or she may not know what's coming up next.
It works much the same in radio, with producers and assistants lining up studio guests and reporters in the field to comment on what appear to be the trends we see in the numbers.
CBC.ca will have three experienced journalists following every district race minute-by-minute. As the night unfolds we will publish many stories about the candidates.
Q: What is the CBC Decision Desk?
A: We have a team of veteran journalists who are not only experienced in news coverage but also in political and election coverage. For territorial and provincial elections we have half-a-dozen or so people, depending on how many districts there are, working on the decision desk, plus one supervisor.
Each of them is assigned to watch a certain number of districts. As the poll-by-poll results come in, they get a sense of how the vote is going. They know the history of the district, and they know from CBC reporters who covered the campaign what the expectation is in each district. Depending on how close we expect the race to be, and how close to expectations the actual results are as they come in, our journalist will make the decision to project a winner when he/she is confident that the voters' decision is clear.
We feel our decision desk policy gives CBC News credibility with the audience because people can trust that we have analyzed the data and come to a decision we are comfortable with, and that it's based on facts and logic.
Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.
The content you're looking for is not available. Due to technical difficulties, news stories originally published in 2003 were inadvertently republished under the dates of Nov. 4 and Nov. 5.
For more information, click here.
- Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
- Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
- Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
- Visit our site map page
In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.