May 31, 2012

Home is the new newsroom. That became my deal when I started my job this year as an online reporter. And I totally love it because I NEVER EVER COMMUTE TO WORK.

In my old school journalism world, freelance writers were the ones who usually worked from home. But as a full-time staffer immersed in 21st century media, I am now “working remotely.” Still makes me laugh to say that out loud because it sounds so modern.

Actually, the news gathering process is indeed cutting edge. In addition to all the Internet-based reporting combined with live interviews, the research process is incredibly intense. Thanks to my company-issued iPhone, I’m able to shoot photos that are instantly emailed to the newsroom for posting on our website. If I’m on a breaking story and there’s wifi nearby, I pull out my work laptop and file my article within minutes of the event. (As a last resort, I will type stories into my cell phone, which can be difficult.)

The job also gives me what I appreciate most: cozy, old-fashioned nesting moments. What a joy to roll out of bed every morning, make my bed, dress, put on makeup, feed the pets, walk the dog and breakfast while reading my home-delivered New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Afterwards, I go upstairs to write and make phone calls while one of the cats sits on the desk as my little dog curls up by my feet. Ahh!

This evening, I have a bunch of videos that I shot which must be sent via laptop to the webmasters in our midtown Manhattan newsroom. You know what “working late” looks like right now? I’m sitting here in gym shorts and an old tank top with a green clay masque plastered on my face as I cue the “upload” buttons. In between doing that, I’m able to…blog! Meanwhile, my daughter is popping in and out to let me know what’s up as she moves through her busy social schedule with friends.

Maybe you’d like a look at my desk. In addition to the company MacBook Pro, there’s also my own Mac desktop and my personal MacBook Pro. When I’m filing on deadline, I use all three machines at once. The story gets hammered into the work laptop which is rigged with special website-related software. Meanwhile, I view notes on the big screen and keep my own laptop available for monitoring incoming emails.

It took me a while to figure out the best work station layout but now everything flows. The laptops are sitting on good-looking, $14.99 metal kitchen shelves from the Container Store. Rosebud’s keeping my seat warm while I run downstairs to the kitchen for a snack.

So that’s my life. On good days when the stories are popping, I’m truly happy. And on the bad days when I’m overwhelmed,  it’s great to dash across the hall to my bedroom, where I can immediately collapse and pull the covers over my head.    :)