Thursday, June 18, 2009

So far, so good in Minny

By Nate Taylor

Meeting 300 people in one day can be taxing on the mind and body. That’s what I did on my first day at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. To me, the building is huge, the newspaper is huge and the newsroom is huge.

It all seemed so big to me that first day that I started to think I could get lost in such a place. Then I started meeting people. Each person I introduced myself to was excited to meet me. Not one person gave the impression that I was wasting his or her time.

Seriously, every last person was excited to see a young person in the newsroom. They smiled. They told me about their internships. They all wanted to help me and they didn’t even really know me yet.

It surprised me. It made reconsider what my role at this newspaper is for 10 weeks. In a way, I’m here to bring excitement and passion to the newsroom. After all, like many papers, the Star Tribune had its share of tough economic times lately. It has gone through two rounds of layoffs and a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing. People here have told me the newsroom has not being the same since.

Now I don’t consider myself the savior of newsroom morale, but I view it as partly my responsibility to do what I can to keep it high. As I see it, the way I go about my work will affect others because I—and other young people like me—are the future of the business. I’m continuing the living legacy of keeping print journalism.

This past Tuesday, every intern in the newsroom was asked to speak about their aspirations. It wasn’t difficult for me. I want my colleagues to see my love for journalism. That way, just maybe, I can be part of the fight to keep newsrooms’ morale where it should be.

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