Inside the Suitcase: What We Are Taking to the Conventions

Aug 29, 2012
Originally published on October 16, 2012 6:21 pm

It's convention time again - we've got the presumptive nominees, we've got the keynote speakers, and now we wait for the official proceedings and celebratory balloon drops.

In the weeks leading up both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, our elections coverage team--which includes reporters, producers, editors, operations staff and engineers--has been making exhaustive preparations, sorting out logistics and lining up interviews. With three hours of live coverage every night of both conventions, live blogging and reporting throughout Morning Edition, All Things Considered and, the election's team has a busy couple of weeks in store.

And the current inclement weather in Florida means our staff is stocking up on emergency provisions- rubber boots, flashlights, socks, water, protein bars, hand sanitizer, bandages, etc. But we were curious about what else the team had prepared for our convention coverage so we took a peek inside the suitcase of Assistant Producer on the NPR Elections Team, Arnie Seipel. Here's what we found:

  1. Reporter's Kit: Headphones, microphone, microphone stand, and audio recorder.
  2. Extra Batteries: Needed to power the audio recorder in the reporter's kit.
  3. Ruggedized Laptop: A lot of running around requires a little extra protection.
  4. Snacks: What's the trick to keeping everyone on their game during such a busy week? Snacks. Lots of them. (We hear Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving has a soft spot for pretzels.)
  5. Caffeine: Mission critical for the long days and late nights of convention coverage.
  6. Gaffer's Tape: A lot like duct tape, but even better. Used to tape down cables to the floor in NPR's convention booth.
  7. Permanent Markers: These will come in handy over and over during convention weeks. And they can even write on gaffer's tape.
  8. ID and Credentials: Security checks are required all throughout the convention venues, so ID cards and press credentials are a crucial addition.
  9. EVDO Card: Having this little wireless device along means our team will be able to access the Internet everywhere.

Molly Hart works at NPR in Washington, D.C.

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