Stop in and say hello

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, October 4, 2012

There’s very little glamour left in the world of newspapers — assuming there ever was in the first place. Still, though, we often hear from students or Scouts or other organizations asking to tour the offices of the Suffolk News-Herald or to shadow our reporters while they go about their business. The implication always seems to be that the visitors expect to find some excitement when they step into the newsroom.

Most days, those who work in that newsroom have a hard time imagining how their jobs could ever appear interesting to those who would be watching them effectively sit at a computer and type or talk on the telephone all day.

Of course, there’s a police scanner crackling out communications in the background, and there are the occasional cries of anguish as a reporter watches the clock advance while awaiting a call back from that one source who’s vital to tomorrow’s lead story. Still, it’s rare for the newsroom in a place like Suffolk to feel like much more than a noisy office.

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But this weekend, you’ll get a chance to decide for yourself how interesting it is, as we move the Suffolk News-Herald newsroom to our tent at the Peanut Festival. Our reporters and designers and editor will be on hand to answer questions while they go about their regular daily duties — writing, editing and composing from our space in a vendor’s tent. If all goes as planned, we’ll project our designer’s computer screen on the wall of our tent, where you can watch what she’s doing, and we’ll have our daily story lists, or budgets, displayed so you can get an advance look at what we’re planning for Saturday’s and Sunday’s editions.

Exciting? Maybe. It will definitely raise the stakes for the folks in the newsroom, who are a generally introverted lot, unaccustomed to effectively being on public display. What’s really exciting, though, is the chance it will give us to interact with our readers and to solicit their help with the paper. We’ll be asking folks to share their Peanut Festival photos with us throughout the weekend, with the idea that we’ll publish some in the newspaper on Sunday and more in the November/December edition of Suffolk Living magazine.

So be sure to head out to Peanut Fest this weekend. Bring your camera. Have a good time. Stop by our tent while you’re there. We’d love to chat. And we’d love to see your photos.