I’m occasionally asked what it’s like in a newsroom. I don’t know what it’s like now, but I know what it WAS like, and it was like this:
This four-minute scene in metro editor Michael Keaton’s office captures the state of play in a newsroom. It has:
- A half-crazy columnist (Randy Quaid)
- A cranky executive editor (Robert Duvall)
- An editor who neglects his spouse (Keaton)
- That same editor focused on getting the story
- Reporters busting in to the metro editor’s office, talking passionately about a story
- A reporter bitching about his chair
- An assistant looking for who stole her stapler
- Two reporters bitching about having to share a story
- The classic line by a journalist about his newspaper: “I don’t read this newspaper.”
And unlike “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight” and “The Post,” “The Paper captures the manic atmosphere, the black humor, and the “get-the-damn-story” drive that permeates newsrooms.
Or, at least, used to.