I didn’t know it when I started as a features reporter at The St. Joseph (Missouri) News-Press 20 years ago this month, but it looked like almost all local newspapers look. Inside a brick downtown building, through two sets of glass doors, past Nelda the receptionist who always had candies at her desk and took note of who grabbed them, there were rows of cubicles under fluorescent lights, islands of file cabinets, and in the corner, a glass-enclosed editor’s office.
I know now that’s what a lot of newspaper newsrooms look like because in the nine years I’ve worked covering local news for Poynter, I’ve gotten to visit several. I actually used to joke that I was a newsroom tourist.
Then, I got to talk with someone who actually is.
This week, I wrote a piece about an art professor who visited 115 newsrooms, dead and alive, in Kansas for a project he calls Fourth Estate.
We’ve lost a lot of newspapers and their spaces in the last few years. Jeremiah Ariaz’s work is a reminder of why the work and the space matter to a community.
What did your first newsroom look like? Share photos if you have them and if I get enough, next week we’ll take a scroll down memory lane.
I can’t find any pictures of mine, but I did visit several years ago and found it updated and somehow the same.
Here’s more on the Fourth Estate.