Georgia In My Way

In Milwaukee, the City Magazine snagged a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, who left the paper for the mag, and now tells all the inside secrets of the state’s largest daily.

“In The Trenches

For someone who has never worked at a daily paper, there is no preparation for the cramped, seedy quarters of a newsroom. Reporters’ desks are banked against each other, there’s barely any space to write or store files, you are engulfed in conversations of other reporters doing interviews or simply gas-bagging with an office colleague, and there is paper – and newspapers – piled everywhere.

Reporters often eat at their desks, crumbs of food and candy wrappers drop on the floor and the janitors fight a losing battle in the ongoing war. In years past, the newsroom had mice.

My desk was sandwiched between Annysa Johnson and Georgia Pabst, two reporters with voices loud enough to shatter any concentration. There were moments when the person I was interviewing on the phone could hear Annysa’s voice as clearly as mine and countless times when the piles of papers on Georgia’s desk and at her feet would slide onto my precious slice of workspace and I would bark at her to back off. It became part of a bantering routine between Georgia and me.