The Spokesman-Review : interns

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thuy: More eschaton

Living in a newsroom is a fabulous twisted combination of living the eschaton, the fast shooter adrenaline rush crazy lifestyle experienced in weird compressed binges.

For crazy days and crazy weeks, there's a flurry of phone calls and deadlines, troubleshooting for design, crunching everything at the last moment to make sure it's perfect, and finally letting the paper go for the night. The Web presence is somewhat forgiving, but print is not. Daniel Henniger from the Wall Street Journal gave it a great descriptor: "...what good newspapering does, is take the chaos that is the Information Highway and submit it to an organizing intelligence - first the reporters and after them a series of editors and copy editors who have the skills, in a few hours, to make that chaos coherent." ("Why We Do It: A Need to Know, A Need to Tell")

Then we get to experience the exhale. We pick up the paper the next morning or on the weekly release day, to experience a soft and intimate slowdown. Procrastinating feels good though highly discouraged.

I have a fairy newsmother who told me we have a very intimate relationship with the reader. As a newsroom, we are welcomed and carried every day into people's homes to sit down in front of them for their reading pleasure. We share a private moment of their day, perhaps as they cozy up in front of the fireplace with an animal or as they experience the slow waking process on a lazy Sunday morning. We try to help readers make informed decisions, relay stories about their community and, if we're lucky, reassure them that there is good in the world.

Let me tell you a story - one about the world that you live in.

We're meditating on a grand scale - Eschaton and then decompression over and over again. As an S-R news junkie, or at least a college reporter and editor, to experience both worlds and contribute to making a difference in my community gives the most amazing rush.

It's almost like a religion.

Off to bed, and tomorrow another day of surprises downtown.


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