The Newsroom

Dispatch Newsroom

On Thursday evening I stopped by the Alaska Dispatch open house to visit with a former boss/inimitable woman/shaper-of-much-of-the-last-three-years-of-my-professional-life who gifted me with a personal tour of the  new space and introductions to people whose writing I’ve been reading for years. I couldn’t control my nerdiness and kept repeating, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen a newsroom! It’s so cool!!!”

I might be romanticizing it, but the newsroom felt like a hive of creativity and energy, filled with clever, interesting people crafting fascinating (Old chart identified as artifact from ill-fated voyage of the Karluk), impactful (Addiction, survival and love on Anchorage streets), and sometimes just plain fun (Scott McMurren: Romantic getaway deals, Outside and in) articles for us to read.

A few takeaways to share with you:

  • I loved seeing the personal touches people gave their spaces – the open layout doesn’t allow for much in terms of decoration, but little things like a mason jar drinking glass, tiny American flag, and goose cookie jar brought a little human quirk to the almost overpowering mass of electronics.
  • Speaking of electronics, there were computers and cords EVERYWHERE.  Flat screens on the wall displaying the Dispatch’s online analytics, desks set up to accommodate the cables snaking along the floor, laptops, desktops, tablets, phablets, smartphones…can you image the size of the power bill every month?
  • The Dispatch employs incredibly talented photographers who travel all over our state and take pictures of EVERYTHING. Many of their photos adorn the walls, adding vibrant hues to an otherwise neutrally colored space. My favorite was a fish swimming toward the camera with its mouth open – utterly startling to glimpse from the corner of your eye.
  • A mid-century modern-esque sitting area featured a much-loved, weathered couch from Governor Hickel’s house. Can you image the secrets shared, plans made, and deals brokered atop those cushions?

Reading the news will feel different now that I can visualize the space where many of the stories are written, associate faces with the bylines, and understand the massive quantity of work that goes into publishing a newspaper. Thank you Alaska Dispatch for the warm welcome and making my first newsroom visit so memorable!

Author: Gretchen Fauske

I love Anchorage. I love what it is, what it's been, and what I dream it will be. I share my adventures with DJ (my husband), my fabulous family and friends, two frenchies named Grover and Teddy, and now, all of you. If you love Anchorage too, get in touch - guest posts are welcome!

4 thoughts on “The Newsroom”

  1. Sorry I missed you at the soiree. BTW, the photographer who took that fish-within-a-fish, Jim Lavrakas, also was in the house. Jim left ADN a few years ago and now calls Homer his home. HAHA If you get a chance, check out his book, “Snap Decisions”, featuring some great images during his tenure at the News.

  2. Scott, thanks for the book recommendation and the name of photographer – I’ll check out “Snap Decisions” for sure. Disappointed I didn’t get to connect with you, love all your articles – how would anyone ever know the best airfare deals etc. without you?!

  3. Enjoyed your newsroom visit, Gretchen – it reminded me of the years I spent as a reporter (CHIEF reporter, editor Lee Jordan termed me – overlooking the fact that I was the ONLY reporter for the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.) My office was a two-room building in Eagle River at the base of the Jordan’s house on the hill above. The floor was concrete and I wore bunny boots all day while I typed away on some ancient machine that spit out carbon copies of whatever I was writing, seldom without complications. If I wanted coffee, I walked out of the office and climbed up the outside steps to the Jordan’s kitchen where Barbara Jordan would have a coffee pot going. Lee knew everyone, and from my rear-room “office” I could hear all the community news that WOULDN’T get printed (as well as more orthodox subjects that would usually lead to a real news story). I loved it all!

Comments are closed.