So far, my beat has been the newsroom. But it’s more exciting than you may think. Sure, 30-some-odd adults working, living and breathing in a room from about 8 a.m. until about 3 a.m. for some (9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for most) may not sound like optimum working conditions, but it’s definitely interesting.
And understanding the dynamics of the newsroom can certainly help you cover a beat. Getting to know each other by working together gives us extra incentive to help one another out (with sources and suggestions and ideas), and we are a particularly helpful bunch. Seriously, this is not a reality TV show. In our newsroom, everyone’s working together in the same room, which really helps with the flow of information and with understanding how the different departments work together.
The setup kind of reminds me of The New York Times Page One meeting — the decision makers and top editors seated around the table in the middle of the room and the writers, invited guests and peons seated around them. In our newsroom, however, it’s more like a division by department, not rank on the masthead. The Web, photo, design and copy-edit departments sit in the middle, and the reporters on the outside — like I said, the decision makers and the peons (j/k).
But it’s really amazing to see the way the top editors and the students are working and sharing together: ideas, advice, experience, office space, food, cars and colds. But, with all that closeness, it must also be said that it can get a little … ripe around six or seven.
With such long days and nights, when people are hungry and borderline tired, the silliness comes out of everyone. And that’s when some of the real bonding begins.
Overheard in the newsroom:
“I’m a workaholic. I have to keep working because if I stop, I’m going to get trapped in a relationship.”
“If one more person talks to me, I’m going to snap.”
“Is anyone leaving … with a car?”
“Make it work. Do you watch ‘Project Runway’? I’m going to start talking like Tim Gunn. Carry on.”
It’s extremely rewarding and challenging to be surrounded by so many talented people. True statement, but if someone else says that, I might snap. I definitely take my hat off to all of them. Well, I could if I were wearing one, which I’m not. So I can’t. The experience is great, nonetheless.
— Arcynta Ali Childs