David Speers goes to Washington

Sky News election coverage being anchored from US until Trump or Clinton wins

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Sky News political editor David Speers flew out of Sydney to Washington this week ahead of a busy schedule to cover the final days of the US presidential election and election day itself.

Moments before he entered the airbridge, Speers explained to Mediaweek this is the fourth consecutive US election he has covered from Washington.

On arrival in the US capital Speers begins hosting his PM Agenda program live. “It will be a pretty nasty timezone in the US for me – from 1am until 3am each day on the US east coast. We will have a mix of content from the US election and also what is happening back in Australia.

“I will also be hosting Thursday night’s Speer’s Tonight plus a number of live crosses to other Sky News shows daily including AM Agenda and other programs across the day.”

David Speers

David Speers

Speers will also interview US commentators each day to feature in his shows.

The elections specialist will be based out of a CBS studio used for affiliates near the Capital Building. “It is a building that houses many networks and on one of the floors CBS has a great setup we can access.”

Multitasking is crucial for many reporters on the road and Speers told us he will brush up on his video skills, shooting some of his own footage.

The climax of the coverage will be on November 9 with Speers anchoring coverage as the votes come in with a mix of US ABC coverage and Speers getting analysis from Sky News’ own pundits.

In past US elections, Speers has been on hand to see George Bush defeat John Kerry plus Barack Obama defeat John McCain and then Mitt Romney.

The 2016 poll promises to be the most explosive of all. “There is much more riding on this result, should Trump win,” Speers said.

Asked how much of a role the media is playing in the US result, Speers said: “The media is a factor in any election campaign. Has the media been unfair to Donald Trump? As a whole, no. Have they been as tough as they should have been on Hillary Clinton? Probably not in some quarters.

“Trump doesn’t have any legitimacy to say the election is rigged against him because of what the media has done.”

As to how Speers keeps up with election news, he has a myriad of sources: “In the US I tend to spend much time watching CNN America. I also monitor what’s happening online. I am also able to access internal briefings from our US affiliates like CBS, which is very helpful as to who is doing what. Social media is also very important and I really enjoy the analysis and features from places like The New York Times and The Washington Post.”

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