Working in a Newsroom

First off, I have to thank Mike for guest posting on my blog. I had asked him moons ago, when I was blogging regularly, but it never developed. I’m glad I asked him again and I’m thinking about having a weekly guest post/conversation each week.

Like Mike said in his post, we have talked for hours at a time about what the differences are between working in an office and working from home.

My story is quite simple. Both my internships were in offices and when I graduated this past December, I got a journo job working in an office.

I sometimes work from home, on stories after meetings or when I have the night shift on Fridays. If I had to guess, I would say 90 percent of my work is done at the office. For one, I don’t like calling sources on my cell phone because with caller ID you never want people to know your cell phone. Also, I’ve grown to like my desk and it, oddly, gives me a comfort of home. Yes, the desk is probably three decades older than me and the computer I have has yet to save a file in less than five minutes, but it’s home for me.

Having split shifts most of the time here, with meetings to cover at night, I’m not spending countless hours at my desk. I have a system, with my files in a filing “thing” and my clips piled in an awkward, leaning pile. (The pile has started to take over a coworker’s desk, actually) This office has been my life for the last six months. And the only thing I would change is the rug. Don’t even get me started on it.

With working in an office, you have the routine. I get up at 5:30 each day and leave my house at 6:14 on the dot. I get in 15 minutes before 7 a.m., so I can get my story pitches ready and set my laptop up. This is my system. It hasn’t failed me yet and I’m always prepared.

I pitch my stories each morning before 7:30 a.m., or I get told what to write, for either a weather related story, breaking news, or accident brief. Most of the time, I usually have one story on deadline. The practice of writing on deadline, consistently, is something that I cannot stress enough. Just today, I wrote a 14″ story on a beach closing and a 22″ story on what we are calling “treemageddon.” All of it was on deadline and the 22″ story idea was pitched to me before I even sat down this morning.

The benefits of working in the office, I feel, have really helped my writing.

Seeing my editors, all four of them, on a daily basis, not only has molded my writing, but they have certainly taken me under their wings. It’s apparent, to me at least, that constant editing with them has made me a better editor of my own work, but has allowed me to make their jobs a bit easier, by not making the same mistakes and learning something new each day.

Working in the office, isn’t something I take for granted, either. I know that I was lucky to get this job so soon after graduating. I know that they have years of experience to help my writing and teach me things that I still have yet to learn.

I completely understand Mike’s “hunger” to get back into a newsroom. The relationships here are unlike anything I could even try to explain. We laugh and talk together, but we also yell a lot and get mad at each other. It’s a weird relationship that takes a certain kind of person to get used to. At the end of the day I would give my life for any of the editors or my fellow reporters. They are all great people.  I’m sure I’m not the first journo to say that a newsroom will change you, though, and you may not like who you become.

So far, in my life, there has been nothing like working in a newsroom.

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5 Responses to Working in a Newsroom

  1. Pingback: Get a Routine « Just Starting Out

  2. Pingback: Make Each Pitch Interesting « Just Starting Out

  3. Pingback: Working in a Newsroom Part 2 « Just Starting Out

  4. Pingback: Lessons from Sandy « Just Starting Out

  5. Pingback: Don’t Go To Every Meeting « Just Starting Out

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