Thought Catalog

The Differences Between The Newsroom And An Actual Newsroom

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On Newsroom, everyone is attractive. In a newsroom, everyone is fat.

On Newsroom, producers stop what they’re doing to have long, eloquent arguments about the state of America, journalism, and life itself. In a newsroom, producers stop what they’re doing, occasionally, to go to the bathroom. Other than that, they’re really quite busy.

On Newsroom, everyone is a genius. In a newsroom, people use Wikipedia far more than they’d like to admit.

On Newsroom, the office looks like a stylish spaceship blasting off for Planet Internet. In a newsroom, the office looks like, well, a newsroom.

On Newsroom, the entire operation is run by a white-haired, bow-tied kook who seems perennially drunk. In a newsroom… actually, that one’s pretty accurate.

On Newsroom, the anchor just returned from a Caribbean rendezvous with Erin Andrews. In a newsroom, the anchor is Ted Koppel.

On Newsroom, the staff instantly discusses their love lives with people they just met. In a newsroom, no one does that because it’s ridiculous.

On Newsroom, every word is expertly crafted by an genuine genius of dialogue. In a newsroom, people alternate between exhaustion and caffeinated hysteria.

On Newsroom, the anchor is a blustery, opinionated jerk who believes he’s always the smartest guy in the room. In a newsroom, Keith Olbermann hasn’t had a job for months.

On Newsroom, it’s pretty clear that everyone involved is a liberal. In a newsroom… actually, that’s one pretty accurate too.

On Newsroom the boss is so well paid that he can flippantly give away a million dollars in salary. In a newsroom, they’re still trying to figure out how to get people to pay for digital content.

On Newsroom, people have sexy little fights that are a little about the fights but mostly about being sexy. In a newsroom, people, again, are really quite busy.

Newsroom, even with its creative license, is a fantastic good time. A newsroom is neither fantastic, nor a particularly good time. TC mark

image – HBO
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  • http://twitter.com/keishahalili Keisha Halili (@keishahalili)

    I live in an actual newsroom. I get what you mean.

  • hc

    Aside from the Wikipedia comment I can’t disagree more with this post. I’m not sure what newsroom you’ve been in… but in the 10 or so I have worked in (except for the religious/fanatic anchor in market 125) I’d say “The Newsroom” is pretty accurate.

    • Adam

      What parts of the program did you find accurate? Ignoring the BP oil spill because the AP news alerts were only yellow, rather than orange? The producer having two convient high level sources just hours after the story broke? The intern turned AP blowing the interview with the AZ gov. because of her previous relationship with her press secretary? The extraordinarily intelligent producers plugged in to all aspects of politics and world events?

      I’ve worked in a newsroom longer than most have been alive, and I’ve wondered several times whether Sorkin spent any time in an actual newsroom before writing his story. If the actual newsroom on Newsroom exists, I’d love to work there.

      • http://twitter.com/DemocritusNow Democritus (@DemocritusNow)

        Sounds like you worked in newspapers, not broadcast.

      • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

        Well played, Adam.

    • Jared

      HC I’m guessing you’ve only worked in local, because this article is almost spot on at the network level. The only things that aren’t true, are the part about everyone in a regular newsroom being fat(a lot of people are actually really good looking), and also the part implying that the top people in a regular newsroom are not paid well. The anchors at the network level get millions, just like on the show(although they would never give away a hundred dollars, let alone 1 million).

      I was particularly a fan of “On Newsroom, it’s pretty clear that everyone involved is a liberal. In a newsroom… actually, that’s one pretty accurate too.”

  • http://gravatar.com/gabydunn Gaby Dunn

    Solid. We drank a LOT when I was in a newsroom. Do they do that on the show? I mean….

  • http://twitter.com/tchuntfr Francois Pichard (@tchuntfr)

    “On Newsroom, it’s pretty clear that everyone involved is a liberal” everyone ?… ;)

  • http://gravatar.com/sarahaquino Sarah

    I worked in a local newsroom for two years, and I will say this list is dead on. However, in the local newsroom I worked in, there was definitely talk about sex (affairs, inter-dating, etc.). Also, in a local newsroom, no one gives a rat’s ass about a well-informed electorate.. no one. “Oh look, a grass fire, let’s cover that for the entire hour.”

  • DM10003

    You’re just now realizing that the dramatic arts are not about work but about relationships? Why don’t you do this comparison to newsrooms and The Mary Tyler Moore Show? Because it woud be obvious that a real newsroom isn’t joke to a laugh track and you would have given up such a comparison before you started. Hamlet wasn’t a Danish war documentary btw.

  • http://tallulahbankhead.wordpress.com TallulahBankhead

    Reblogged this on Tallulah Bankhead and commented:
    And that’s why I can’t get into the show!

  • LifeAintBeerNSkittles

    So this is why I got so many strange looks when I followed that guy into his job at the news station with a fresh bag of popcorn…

  • Taylor Vaughn

    Calm down people, it’s just a TV show

  • http://twitter.com/hotincleveland Truly S. (@hotincleveland)

    So, you think fat people are unattractive and Keith Olbermann is a blustering jerk. Nice way to convince me anything else you say is worth reading, Sparky!

    • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

      Read the New Yorker profile of Olcermann and get back to me, Truly. Love his politics, but the guy is a hot head.

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    the most accurate thing I saw in The Newsroom was the AP taking off to run to the control room without disconnecting her headset :)

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    I think we can’t forget one important thing about The Newsroom: it is not, nor does it claim to be, a factual representation about anything. Sorkin has stated more times than once that he is a fiction writer. The idea that this is untruth gets lost when real-life events are depicted, but that is only a tool Sorkin uses to allow us, the audience, to ponder ourselves and our real world from a removed stance; that’s what makes the show fun to watch! It allows us to become a 3rd party in the world we actually live in to incite some self-reflection on how influenced we really are by our bias Media, and it sure creates a world of debate around the office at Dish the next day! To me, the stimulation of conversation alone makes The Newsroom a worthwhile program to watch, and that is why it remains at the top of my DVR recording list. Luckily, I have the Hopper DVR with tons of recording space so, if The Newsroom does get too far fetched, at least I didn’t sacrifice precious memory on it. Till then, I’m excited to see what other topics of conversation Sorkin sparks.

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