I had a visit today to the Southern Daily Echo as part of my course today, and I have to say I was very impressed with it. It’s not the dingy little office that you imagine for a provincial paper.
In amongst a cluster of industrial estates, it occupies its own compound complete with two of what look externally like warehouses – one is a printing facility and the other is the actual Echo office. We couldn’t go into the printing area because the insurance company didn’t like the possibility of forced amputations, but the office itself was a combination of plush management offices (seriously, they were like the ones you see in movies – all floor-to-ceiling windows, mahogany, and leather recliners) and an absolutely cavernous open-plan newsroom that could easily contain a few hundred people with their own terminals. It even has its own archive library.
It hasn’t made me any more inclined to work on a newspaper, but it’s certainly improved my perception of them. I can’t imagine what the facilities of a bigger national newspaper are like.