#DemConvention: Day in the life of an embed
Jasmine Wright, CNN
Welcome to our #IWMF2020 Day in the Life series! Through Election Day, we’ll be taking you behind the scenes with women journos on the campaign trail. Virtual and in-person, good days and tough ones, we’ll show you what it’s like to cover #Election2020.
Hi, I’m Jasmine Wright (she/her).
What I do: Video Producer, CNN
When I’m not on the road: Based in Washington, DC
Where to follow me: On Twitter at @JasJWright
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
7am: I start my day as I typically do when on the road, with a cup of hotel-made coffee in bed around 7am, to scour the news for anything I missed overnight.
But today is different.
In a little over 12 hours I’ll gather with fewer than 30 journalists to enter the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware to see Kamala Harris become the first Black and South Asian woman to accept the vice presidential nomination from a major political party.
I was officially assigned to be a Harris embed in May 2019, but first began to cover the California Senator for CNN in October 2018.
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Mid-day: I have to find ways to occupy my time, which proves effortless in between answering e-mail, making phone calls and reporting on what Harris is doing just hours before she gives the biggest speech of her career yet, all in preparation for CNN’s coverage that evening.
8pm: Once 8pm ET rolled around, I make my way to our gathering point — without my typical gear of a Sony x200 camera, LiveU transmitter and tripod. Tonight, I only have my backpack and laptop to be CNN’s eyes and ears inside the Chase Center.
After being wanded, bags searched, and temperatures checked, I enter the center, where we’re brought to a theatre-type holding room until it’s time to step inside the place Harris would speak.
The DNC dressed the room up to look like a mock convention hall, every chair on the floor stood six feet apart from the next and was separated by blue tape. The seat I choose sits between the state placards of Michigan and Connecticut.
10pm: After documenting the space with my my iPhone camera, I sit down, open my laptop and prepare to do what I’ve done for Harris events what now feels like hundreds of times: log.
As Harris steps on stage and begins to deliver her speech, I type along with her, bolding and time coding lines I find most newsworthy.
During the speech I send emails in real time, with the caveat that it’s ongoing and there’s more to come.
10:30pm: Once she wraps, I quickly head back to the lobby of the Westin to finish my final note, that includes the best bites and personal observations to be sent to CNN as editorial. Since I was the network’s only representative inside the room, it’s important to send them what I saw and heard — and do it quickly.
I send my final email just 10 minutes shy of midnight, and then walk back to my hotel. Job complete.