Dateline Tulsa

Last week, an older woman called me at work and recited a poem she’d written about Mother’s Day.

She asked that we publish it in the Tulsa World.

I let her down gently.

Not long ago, an upset reader left a phone message, calling me a bigot — unjustly — and asking if I’d obtained my journalism degree from a Cracker Jack box.

You see and hear just about everything in a newsroom.

It is common to see U.S. senator or representative walk through. Last month, Jesse Jackson came in to press the flesh. In March, Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein shared their stories.

More often than not, however, the visitors are groups of Cub Scouts or fourth-graders, looking at us like animals in a zoo. And most days, it’s as loud as a zoo.

Sporting no inside walls, a newsroom is a Petri dish for sound. Phones ring constantly, and reporters can hear interviews going on three desks away.

With all the distractions, it’s absolutely the worst place to write. But it is a dynamic place to work.

I must like it. I’ve never left.

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