Surviving The Conventions 101

On Day 4 of the Democratic National Convention, fatigue is setting in for some of the 15,000 members of the news media. But our CBS News staffers in Denver have a few tricks of the trade – and share their survival tips.

Byron Pitts, national correspondent: Covering conventions is a lot like covering hurricanes. I take green tea extract drops three times a day; I take cough drops because reporters are always losing their voices in these situations, and I always chat with my Bible a few times a day.

Jessica Hanks, associate producer of broadcast marketing: First of all, you have to position yourself to be first on the lunch line so that you are guaranteed a hot meal. Also, I stole a golf cart key for four hours the other day, so that I didn't have to walk anywhere.

Zev Shalev, Early Show executive producer: Cat naps.

Bill Plante, White House correspondent: My solution is to sleep in two three-or four-hour shifts and exercise after the mid-day snooze. And, oh yeah, have a glass of good wine, no matter how late before the second sleep shift!

Audrey Wood, Early Show producer: Cheetos and water – snacks that help you stay awake.

Steve Chaggaris, director of political coverage says mental preparation is key. Know:

  • Sleep will be rare to non-existent; four hours of sleep is a good night.
  • Weight gain won't be rare to non-existent, as there seems to be unhealthy food at every turn.
  • Tensions will run high, the work will be very difficult, but I always try to remember that we're witnessing history at these conventions and to have the unique opportunity to see them up close and cover them for CBS News is something to be thankful for.