The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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September 28, 2012

Joe Hadsall: Newsroom like second family

JOPLIN, Mo. — I’ve never worked in a place like a newsroom.

I’ve had a variety of jobs in my career, from making burgers to shelving magazines. I’ve had some cushy, hardly working gigs and cleaned up some awful messes.

Even my journalism jobs have been varied. I’ve worked with a crowd, putting together a magazine as well as by myself in the office of a weekly newspaper, where I would cover for an office receptionist while writing an editorial.

Nothing tops working in The Joplin Globe newsroom. There’s something about working alongside so many committed, dedicated reporters that makes journalism less a daily-grind job and more a purpose-filled calling.

Don’t get me wrong: There’s a grind. This is no easy job. But it’s fulfilling in so many different ways.

I get a lot of questions about what working in a newsroom is like, and it’s not an easy question to answer. I have yet to figure out an elegant, nutshell sentence that really encompasses what the experience is like.

I can understand the curiosity, however. People are, after all, curious, and journalism is one of the few jobs where one’s curiosity is pursued fervently.

There are also plenty of TV shows and movies that confuse a newsroom with a TV studio. People see actors ham up the roles of TV reporters and editors and think that we’re all like that.

Or maybe they think all editors are like J. Jonah Jameson -- cigar-smoking loudmouths who want dirty dirt on beloved heroes.

Maybe years ago that wasn’t too far from the truth.

The average newsroom of today is nothing like the days before computers, where reporters kept bottles of Jack next to the index cards and notebooks crammed in their desk drawers. But I still work alongside colorful characters, who work their tails off to keep our government leaders honest, our accomplishments recognized and our readers informed.

It gives us a level of camaraderie like nothing I’ve ever felt. My colleagues in the newsroom are like a second family, and they’re filled with family-like emotions -- from the pride of our accomplishments to the passion of our arguments.

So, of course, I don’t mind dishing a little dirt on them.

I’ll be at the Joplin Public Library at 6 p.m. Thursday for a coffee talk, talking about the life of a journalist and what life is like in the newsroom. We’ll talk about a number of things, from triumphs to tragedies, politics to parties. I look forward to meeting you, and I might even answer a few questions or show y’all a card trick.

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