November 5th, 2008
04:11 AM ET

Nervous Energy

When I woke up this morning and got ready to go vote, I was nervous. The same thing happened when I was getting ready for work. And I realized it was because of the magnitude of this moment and the buildup to it. After nearly two years of campaigning, this presidential race was finally coming to an end, and the outcome was going to be historic, no matter who won. I think it's always exciting to watch an election unfold, and even more so to get the chance to write about it... even if that excitement is fueled by a healthy dose of nerves.

Jordan Bienstock, Writer

Filed under: Behind the scenes • News Coverage
November 5th, 2008
12:38 AM ET

The Time For Change Has Come – Now What?

Two years of politics, campaigns, and all the rest. I was ready for this to be over a while back. And tonight was the end of that. At 11p.m. CNN declared Barack Obama the winner.  We, as a nation, made history tonight. America elected a black president. My grandfather, who was a journalist writing about the civil rights movement in the South in the 1950's and 1960's, could probably never have imagined this day, and yet here it is. We have advanced a national conversation on race and relations between black and white far beyond what I thought we could two years ago.  Tomorrow, though is a new beginning.

As our new president declared, "This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change.  And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.  It cannot happen without you. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other."

So the president-elect has challenged you, the young people of America. What is your next step, what are you going to do?

John Martin, Curriculum Writer

Filed under: Behind the scenes • News Coverage
November 4th, 2008
11:22 PM ET

I'm a Georgia Voter

The significance of the sticker I received today has never been so profound.  This is my third election yet my first time feeling like I was doing more than just my civic duty.  Let me explain, in the other elections I voted because my mom told me I needed to.  Mom always knows best, right?  Well this election was important to me not only from the historical perspective, but because I wanted to be educated on the candidates and the issues that affect Americans like me and you.  After walking out of the voting booth, I felt like I made a positive difference and felt even more patriotic.  My mom didn't call asking me if I voted this time, I called her!

How do you feel about this election?  Whether you voted or not, what were the feelings you had on the historical day of November 4, 2008? 

Tomeka Jones, Associate Producer


Filed under: Behind the scenes • News Coverage
November 4th, 2008
10:02 PM ET

Election Night

Believe it or not, this is my fifth presidential election here at CNN.  Things have come a long way from dot-matrix printers to the "Magic Wall," but it's always an exciting (and sometimes very late) night.  As a social studies teacher, Election Day would present a great "teachable moment" about voting and civic responsibility.   But wouldn't it be great if voters, young and old, maintained this level of interest in politics every day?  

Donna Krache, Executive Producer

Filed under: Behind the scenes • News Coverage
November 2nd, 2008
07:51 PM ET

Election Prediction

My friends and family members have been asking the same question for weeks:  Who's going to win the election?  And I've had the same answer for weeks:  No idea.

The recent polls have favored Obama, but not by very much; as of this post, he leads McCain by about seven percentage points.  That lead could increase, decrease, or vanish entirely on Election Day.  For these reasons, I'm only predicting one outcome in this election:  It's going to be a late night.

What do you predict?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes • Feedback • News Coverage
October 21st, 2008
11:08 PM ET


If you'd asked me my expectations when I started anchoring, I GUARANTEE you they never would've included this.  But I have to say it's extremely flattering (and a little surreal) to see my face on a pumpkin! 

If you'd like to send us an iReport of your own Halloween-themed carving or costume, click on this link.  And if you want to tell us about your Halloween plans, comment right here!

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes • Feedback
September 11th, 2008
09:52 PM ET

Shoutout to Gerald!

If you've been watching our show since last year, you've probably seen the two times our producer, Gerald Smith, totally surprised me with bloopers reels.  Getting back at him on Friday's program was bittersweet:  sweet for the revenge I finally got and bitter for the fact that we'll miss him when he goes to NBA.com.

More than 95 percent of the shows we've broadcast for the last SIX YEARS were produced by Gerald.  And he's been the voice in my ear for almost the entire time I've been on the air.  I shouted out my thanks to him on Friday's program, but if you'd like to as well, here's the place to do it.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes • Feedback
September 2nd, 2008
05:59 PM ET

What's On Your Mind?

We've been talking about doing a generic type of blog to give you a chance to comment on anything you've seen on our show.  This is it.

We get a lot of comments for topics we don't blog about, so here's your chance to tell us:  What's on your mind?

(And we'll keep doing this from time to time if you guys like it.)

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes • Feedback
September 2nd, 2008
03:11 PM ET

Puns, Jokes and Winces

A viewer named Adam wrote in today asking about the puns at the end of the show and "at the way Carl winces every time he says one."  Here's how all that got started: 

I was the writer of CNN Student News before I actually appeared on the program.  And since I'm kinda cheesy (which I'm sure you've figured out by now), I decided to have a little fun after "Before We Go" segments by writing a pun here and there.  Before long, teachers started writing in saying that their students either liked or groaned at all the puns, but that they added an element of fun to the show that y'all liked to predict.  So when I took over as anchor, our new writer, Jordan Bienstock, continued the tradition.

I guess the winces are just my reaction to actually having to say them on air - as opposed to just writing puns for other anchors.  But hey, if you dish it out, you gotta take it.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes
June 5th, 2008
09:52 PM ET

0 FOR 2

What do people named Gerald, Jordan, Tomeka, John, Matt, Donna, Jerry, Lisa, Jeff, and Juan have in common?  They all work on the staff of CNN Student News, and they were all in on the second-biggest practical joke of my career.

I say second-biggest because, as ashamed as I am to admit it, this happened before last December:  I was told we were running a report about something newsworthy, I believed it, and instead our producers showed some goofy bloopers of yours truly.

This time, I thought I was prepared.  This time, I checked the video before the show to make sure there were no surprises.  This time... I was wrong again.

Wanna see what happens when an anchor is duped on his own program?  Watch the last part of Friday's show!

Carl Azuz, Embarrassed Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes
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