I’m sure you’ve all heard, but it’s been reported that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed earlier today in his hometown of Sirte.
For the average citizen, it might be a surprise or a relief. Maybe it’s something you watch a news story or read an article about. It’s certainly not something that changes your entire day or week (unless, of course, you have loved ones in Libya – or are there yourself).
But in a newsroom, it’s a game changer.
As a school paper, we’re not expected to report about it right away, if at all. Especially considering that our next print edition doesn’t come out until next Tuesday. But a newsroom is filled with people who care about what’s going on in the world. And when somebody says, “Gaddafi is dead!” in the middle of a newsroom, the constant buzz of activity stops.
As soon as the news came in this morning, staff immediately pulled up the press releases and turned on the TV. Work is continuing as usual (and since today is our only non-production day of the week, “usual” means pretty slowly), but coverage of the story is buzzing in the background. Vinh, one of our news writers, stopped in his tracks, staring at the images unfolding on the television. Josh, the editor in chief, had a meeting a few minutes ago, and he chose to have it in the sitting area where he could see the TV. On my own computer, I have a page set up specifically to alert me when updates come in.
We’re not professionals yet, and we’re not likely to cover this story ourselves. But it is a big story, and it piques our journalistic interests.
And maybe someday we will be the ones to bring a story this big to you.