By Gene Park
Here’s a fantastic column on the myth of a neat newsroom, and it got me wondering how other newsrooms are.
I’ve had the pleasure of working at five different newsrooms, and all have been feng shui disasters. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I don’t contribute to the pseudo-landfills.
In my newsroom, there are least five people with various different states of soda can geography. Case in point:
Half of that picture is my desk. The boundary lies between the pile of newspapers and the doo-hickey black thing with a keyboard. I think they used those before the fall of Rome. I’m on the newspaper side. Note the lovely printout I have for information on a sex offender, mugshot and all.
Other notable features of my lovely work space? Well, I have one of those Blueberry iMacs. They were hot back in middle school. I’ve got piles of police “annual reports.” My makeshift rolodex consists of business cards tossed into my second desk drawer. Not pictured on my desk, I also have one of those taller shot glasses, from the previous occupant of the desk, filled with pencils I’ve never even touched. And of course, the stack of newspapers. About two weeks ago I killed a cockroach by placing a big stack on top of it. I disposed of the body two days later. The newspaper stack is now in stable condition, after I divided the stack into two.
Having seen dozens of editors’ desks, and having been an editor myself, it doesn’t look like I’ll be escaping the maelstroms of trash anytime soon. At least unless I become an executive editor.