A headline that made time stand still

Members of The Chieftain news staff gather around television sets as the presidential race is called for Barack Obama.

Members of The Chieftain news staff gather around televisions as the presidential race is called for Barack Obama.

On my way to work on Election Night coverage for The Pueblo Chieftain, I had an errand to run, and then impulsively made a side trip through the intersection of Pueblo’s Union Avenue and D Street, where I had seen Barack Obama speak just three days before.

There’s always a buzz around a newsroom on Election Night, but this one seemed different for so many reasons. The televisions were tuned to various cable news networks and editors were scanning Internet news outlets trying to get the latest word on what was happening. This is newspaper work in the electronic age.

The dictionary defines anachronism is as a chronological discrepancy. And so it seemed strange when a major news network called the presidential race for Obama, and everyone in the newsroom gathered around the TV to see history being made — and what we would be putting into print for people to read the next morning. As newspapers have done through the decades, we would be recording history in print, and believe me it is hard work. The irony is most readers already would know most of the election outcomes before our press would even run.

Still, there’s something exciting about having even a tiny role in recording such a momentous event. Later that evening, as I held a final proof of page 1A in my hands with the huge headline that screamed “OBAMA WINS” I had the powerful feeling of being precisely at a moment in time when everything was standing still — marking the ending and the beginning of so many things.

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