On Monday afternoon, Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, stood in the entranceway of the CNN Grill across from the Pepsi Center where the main evening convention events are taking place, and checked out some freebies. He took a pass on a free, red CNN baseball cap. The T-shirts, however, did appeal.
“Grab me a large,” said Mr. Meacham.
He was talking to Tammy Haddad, the veteran television news producer and Beltway doyenne, who picked up the shirt: American Apparel. Nice!
A group of convention-goers wandered in. Ms. Haddad knew them. They shook hands. Ms. Haddad made introductions. She explained that they were in somewhat of a rush and had to go.
For the next four days, the interactive divisions of The Washington Post and Newsweek will be producing live, Internet television coverage of the convention. Mr. Meacham will be anchoring one of the recurring shows. Ms. Haddad will be producing. They were due on set.
Ms. Haddad made it out of the door, said hello to a few more acquaintances, and looked up. “Where’s my anchor?” she asked.
Mr. Meacham was dawdling. “Can you believe he’s about to go on for four hours?” said Ms. Haddad.
Mr. Meacham looked nonchalant. He was showing off a handheld, blue plastic fan. The fan was unusually high-tech. When the blades were in motion, a message appeared in red letters amidst the whir. The letters spelled out “Tam cam.”
Ms. Haddad and Mr. Meacham progressed across the patch of asphalt leading to a white tent, housing the Washington Post interactive team.
Jonathan Martin of Politico was walking in the opposite direction, grasping three freshly pressed dress shirts, on hangers, in ranges of light pastels. Ms. Haddad made another round of introductions.
Mr. Martin burst into analysis, chewing over Senator McCain’s short list for V.P.. Mr. Martin was not impressed with the Republican’s bench. Mr. Meacham showed off his fan. Everyone smiled and kept walking.
Inside the tent, Ms. Haddad waded into a crowd of Web producers, rapidly introducing everyone in sight.
Ms. Haddad handed the Observer a fistful of chocolates that said, “Live Web Video Election Coverage, Newsweek” on the wrappers. “We have the best free stuff,” said Ms. Haddad.
Mr. Meacham sat down at a desk surrounded by an arc of five high-definition cameras. A makeup woman moved in to work on his hair.
Behind the cameras, a handful of producers made some last minute adjustments. One producer turned to another. “Ready?” she said. “Breathe.” She sucked in a big, exaggerated breath. “Four more hours.”
Ed O’Keefe, a reporter for The Washington Post and Newsweek Interactive, stood behind the producers and watched. Chet Rhodes, an assistant managing editor for news video, walked over and suggested Mr. Keefe show the Observer his cell phone camera.
Mr. O’Keefe held up a thin cell phone which he would be using over the next four days to produce live coverage from the convention floor for the Web site shows. He said the video worked great. With the audio, they were still working out the kinks.
“In the future, Washington Post reporters will just go out with one of these,” said Mr. Rhodes, gesturing at the phone. “They’ll show up at the scene of a fire, hold it up. Done.”
Ms. Haddad took a seat alongside the other producers. Howard Kurtz, the longtime media reporter for the Washington Post, sat down next to Mr. Meacham in front of the cameras.
Ms. Haddad, who has previously produced shows for everyone from Larry King to Chris Matthews, began counting down: “5, 4…”
Mr. Meacham looked toward the bank of cameras and held up the blue fan one last time.
“No, Jon,” said Ms. Haddad.
The show began and Mr. Kurtz launched into an analysis of the supposed rift between the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama camps. Was it real? Or was it the fabrication of the media, spoiling for a fight.
In between observations, Mr. Meacham paid homage to the importance of the Internet. “This is what we call the brave new world,” said Mr. Meacham.