I don’t think I’m old yet. And I believe I’m on top of the technology but I’m sure that many of my young colleagues would consider me antediluvian if I would tell them how I worked on my first years as a reporter.
There were no computers, no cell phones, no internet. Me and my coworkers had to search for information directly from our sources, using phone cabins on the streets, and our phone line in the office, direct interviews, and after that write your story typing on typewriters in the newsroom. There were enormous archives to look for background information stored in thousands of folders filled with papers and photos.
Our newsroom hadn’t even a typewriter par person, and there were competitions to catch one and be the first one to write the news.
Those years a very important element in the desks was a jar with a little brush and glue. This was because when while typing , when you made a mistake you had to literally “cut” the paper and “paste” the piece with the right words (using the glue) to a blank paper to continue writing the rest of the information.
The newsroom was filled with noise from the typewriters, the teletypes, the phones, the loud voices of the journalists… Somehow, in the middle of all that ruckus it was possible to concentrate to write in a hurry the assignment of the day before the deadline. And we had a great time.
When the computers arrived all the noise disappeared and somehow the great atmosphere of the newsroom suddenly was gone. Now there is also exciting and interesting but it’s different.
So, call me antediluvian: I miss the noise of the old newsrooms.