My first tour of a modern day newsroom concluded and I must say I’m kind of perplexed. The building is old and it was kind of sad to see it as some kind of dinosaur. The front of the building is something you’d see in a 70s movie, maybe the Washington Post during Watergate, but on a much smaller scale.
Then I viewed it as a kind of metaphor for the newspaper business as a whole. The writing staff was subdued, the lighting was dim, and nothing like what you see in movies that feature journalists – which are always very brightly lit and there’s tons of traffic and noise. Maybe it’s a bit more hectic during the morning hours, but after 3 the place really slows down. Granted the telegram isn’t the globe, herald, or new york times in it’s overall scope. It covers central Massachusetts at the end of the day. So the sports section is quite active as New Englanders do love their local sports in all shapes and sizes. Most of the news is now just AP coverage.
I also learned of major layoffs at the paper over the last year or so, as many as half of their original staff! (which was about a few hundred people during its peak…now I’d say under fifty) At first it felt like, ok this is kind of a ground level opportunity to meet someone from HR, or to try to get in as an intern. But it’s all shifting to online, as this abundantly clear to any would be writer.
**rant** And I think it’ll take a good 5 years before the transition really takes place and news is being paid for in a similar way with subscription fees. The alternative is to be inundated with blogs and extremist opinion making, which is fine for some, but I think we’ll only be less informed as a public if there is no grander form of cohesion. You’ll have the AP filtering everything out for you and a lot of people would be fine by that, “just give me the basic facts.” However maybe we’re just moving to a period where fragmentation becomes the norm and you go to a specific site for specific information.
“when any news organization tries to quiet free speech, there in lies the problem, and probable reason why their model of reportage is disintegrating.”
its funny that this measly little post cost me a job. turns out the telegram and gazette thought i was being too forward with these admissions of mine. even though i did not call anyone out by name, or steal some official documents from someones cubicle, seems the mention of layoffs with papers is just too disheartening and threatening…but the facts are out there, anyone with half a brain has seen this coming some time ago. it does feel good in a way to be censored. so i had access as a security guard? doesn’t mean that i signed a disclaimer to not talk about my daily life…aka blogging :), 🙂