Newspeople say the darndest things
July 3, 2010 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Ever wonder what reporters, editors, and producers discuss when shooting the breeze?

Reporter after pretending to be sympathetic to union official taking a $2 pay cut: "Wow, I'm so two-faced I scare myself."

posted by pyrex (14 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
During a conversation about demise of pay phones:
Editor: “Where would Superman change nowadays?”
Reporter: “Change? Where would he work?”
posted by Catseye at 8:00 AM on July 3, 2010 [37 favorites]

Anonymous blogger write anonymous statements.
posted by bpm140 at 8:39 AM on July 3, 2010

Some of these, you had to be there.
posted by Trochanter at 8:44 AM on July 3, 2010

Seems like any other office, really!

Very masculine and intimidating VP to secretary: O... m... g.

News Corporation Building
Manhattan, New York
posted by mondaygreens at 8:55 AM on July 3, 2010

Promo producer: “Getting drunk and detonating shit. That’s how I celebrate America.”

Happy Fourth, everyone!
posted by SPrintF at 8:56 AM on July 3, 2010

3 people like this. Be the first of your friends.
posted by koeselitz at 8:57 AM on July 3, 2010

It's a regular read in our newsroom.
posted by quarsan at 10:06 AM on July 3, 2010

I've been checking in on this every so often for a couple of months, and while some of the lines are gems, I find too many others to be of the "Look at us! We're journalists! We're saying cool, cynical journalist things!" flavor, seemingly rattled off by twentysomethings who don't know all the rats have fled the ship or sixtysomethings who are stuck toiling on after their retirement benefits got cut. Or, I suspect, a good number of college newspaper kids with too much time on their hands.

Not that I don't keep my own running list of quotes from the publication I work for, and not that we didn't do that at the college newspaper, too (we taped 'em up on the walls there). But the ones that I click away from are the all-too-frequent references to some worn, clubby journalism convention, such as a lede or a hed or a dek or column inches or avoiding profanity, or the supposed stupidity of junior reporters or the supposed gritty cynicism grizzled reporters are supposed to have cultivated or lame plays on words even 5-year-olds no longer find interesting.

I do like Overheard's copy-editor jokes, though.

posted by limeonaire at 10:37 AM on July 3, 2010


Copy editor, reading op/ed piece by non-journalist: “This thing reads like he masturbated with a thesaurus.”

This is great, thanks!
posted by misha at 10:41 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm quoted in Overheard in the Newsroom. I'm #923:

Web specialist: “The more I look at government, it’s like they never got out of high school. They’re still trying to get a table at lunch next to the popular kids. Emotionally, they never left student council, they just have bigger budgets.”

There's a staggering amount of quotes that sound like they could have come from my own newsroom. There's a weird sort of comfort in knowing that other people's newspapers are dealing with the same stupid bullshit yours is. Some of my personal favorites:

Reporter on covering a local BBQ joint burning down: “Oh it’s a total loss. But that’s the best smelling fire I’ve ever covered.”

“I was uncomfortable with myself when I found that I was emotionally affected by AP’s decision to change Web site to website.”

“You can’t spell crap without A.P.”

Copy editor hands sports writer the AP Stylebook. Sportswriter: “What’s this?”

Reporter to editor: “Can I put ‘shit’ in the paper?” Editor: “You do it everyday.”

A lot of the jokes aren't that funny if you don't put together a paper or a broadcast news report for a living, though.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 11:43 AM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

Sports Copy Editor about Westboro Church protests earlier in the day: “I wish I could meet them so I could punch them all in the face.”
In Portland, OR, the pastor and several others from Saint Michael's church took food and drink to the haters. Killed them with kindness...
posted by Cranberry at 11:45 AM on July 3, 2010

Seemingly every newsroom I ever worked in had an internal list like this.

My all-time favorite was when a sportswriter was talking to a female basketball coach via phone. The coach's team had just lost a game to another team that was using a low-post screen play to great effect.

"So, coach, it looked like you were getting backdoored all night!"

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:21 PM on July 3, 2010

When I worked at the AP, the recurrent line was "You can't spell cheap without AP".
posted by chavenet at 3:11 PM on July 3, 2010

I'm pretty sure one or two quality quotes from my newsroom have made the site but increasingly the quotes on the "Overheard" Facebook feed are lame quips about alcohol.
posted by asterisk at 8:31 PM on July 3, 2010

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