There’s No Place Like a Newsroom

As I walked through the revolving doors of Northcliffe House, the sheer size and sophistication of the building took my breath away and I instantly felt  – scared? Excited? Out of my depth? Privileged? All of the above?

This was definitely somewhere I could see myself working, I thought to myself as I was issued my visitors pass. I made a mental note of the nice receptionist’s name, promising to warmly greet her every morning, even after I became editor of the ES Mag (which was surely going to happen). One must never forget the little people in the rise to the top.

When I was taken into the office and shown my desk, I noticed how quiet and  mellow the atmosphere was – gone were the numerous beacons of news I had become accustomed to over the last few months – no TVs, no radios and no newspapers strewn about every desk, being scanned by journos for any titbit they may have missed. OK so magazine work was going to be a lot different, but show me the celebrities and movie premiers and I was in.

I think I was ever-so-slightly ahead of myself with my whole, “They’ll probably offer me a job when this is all over” attitude (which I knew, but hey, a girl can dream).

I spent the first day calling up the agents and PR companies of celebrities to try and secure a celeb interview. “No,” said Cheryl Cole. “Too busy,” said Whoopi Goldberg. “Not our kind of thing,” said David Tennant. “Too London” said Coleen Rooney.

What was wrong with people? Wasn’t I saying it right? This was the EVENING STANDARD, London’s quality newspaper. I expected people to fall at my feet, but in a celeb’s eyes, media is media whether you work for the Cardiff Evening News or The Times.

Days two and three were spent writing a few bits and pieces for different features, the crux of which was research, research and more research. I didn’t realise there was so much. My day drifted by in endless Google searches and phone calls to company after company after company.

Freebie after freebie arrived at the office and as I looked on with envy I began to realise the true perks of this magazine lark. I was not completely forgotten either as my hours of searching for the best fitness classes, best trainers and best gyms meant I was able to go and try them out. Hmmmm, I could get used to this.

Friday came and after a pleading letter to the editor, I was allowed to go into the news room. As I stepped out of the quiet, freebie-filled haven of the magazine quarters and into the rather frantic hack and stress-filled newsroom, I felt like Dorothy felt when she went back to Kansas (without the red shoes – brown Mary Janes, in case you wondered). I was home. The background noise of Sky News, phones buzzing, raised voices, laughter and  the feeling of imminent deadlines hung in the air. I was definitely in the right place.

The only freebie I may be getting is a newspaper but at least my name would be in it and in my eyes, that means I’ve earned it.

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One Comment on “There’s No Place Like a Newsroom”


  1. Trust me, it’s not all freebies and easing yourself into a chair for an 8 hour shift. The perfection expected of the final product means long ol’ shifts into the night. You seem to have struck lucky with the free gym trials too: 10 days into Men’s Health and all I can count as a freebie is a snack-sized eat natural bar or two. But I guess you love what you love, and I wouldn’t swap the glossy paper and tweaking of layouts for any amount of newsroom buzz! Esther x


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