The newsroom in The Newsroom feels like a loud New York bar – fast-talkers talking loudly, men and women forging very close ties in mere seconds, and an organised chaos you’re willing to pay to see. Actual newsrooms are a lot like that, except you’re not allowed any alcohol.
My experience in the environment was thankfully not too Aaron Sorkin. That is to say that walk and talks did happen but were not commonplace, no one has two Ph.D.s and just hangs around (um, no time for that?), and there was little drama on the floor (maybe not..). Much of my shock as a new entrant into the world of broadcast journalism came from reality not meeting the expectation of glamour. And when you have to be in the office at 3 in the morning, glamour isn’t a word you have the energy or a spare REM cycle to dream of.
There were times when I wanted to quit. Many times, in fact, I contemplated not showing up. Some mornings I’d cry in the shower and not want to step out the door. I brought the work of work home all the time and brought my rolodex of mistakes everywhere I went. But I’m glad I never did quit. Getting screamed at 10 times out of 9 when on prompt has made me a slightly less spoiled brat. It’s also made me a little less shit at rolling prompter. It helped that I hand drew three calendars to go through the process of marking out each day I put in. It was very gratifying; I highly recommend this.
Over 6 months, things got better. I was given more responsibilities; I helped book a guest, worked on a package, and wrote stories that made it on air. And though those stories were minor or almost always about someone saving a whale, hearing words I’d written on the medium I love the most felt pretty damn good.
I’m proudest of a script I wrote about Star Wars: TFA’s earnings projections. It was not about a whale and had actual, substantial information in it. It was a big opportunity. I might have screwed it up a bit, but I’m keeping it off my mistake rolodex.
That’s something Disney should definitely not do.