How Nadia Komami reflects on her role at the center of the character compared to Gene Stead’s predecessor in the 1960s
The grim heart of the Newsdesk Guardian. Any moment that appears fast, sharp, and close to a heart attack, it encourages the release of multiple messages each day.
In the three years I’ve been an assistant news editor, there has been no shortage of historic moments: Brexit and a general election soon turned into a pandemic that changed the world. Even on calm days, our activity begins exactly 7 a.m. when the first writer in London picks up the baton from our Australian office and updates the website with new stories, and ends at 1 p.m. when the night editor releases the final print edition. Is.
Over the past two decades, news editing has kept pace with the development of the Internet and technology. We no longer just focus on filling out the pages of a single piece of paper: we submit and publish pieces on site throughout the day. If articles aren’t enough, we have live blogs – featuring politics, Sarkar-19 and other emerging events – that catch on almost every minute.
When the late Gene Stead first joined the Guardian from the Yorkshire Post in 1963, it was a long way off. They helped implement without significant cultural changes, the quality of our news releases would not be the same as it is today.
In the early 1960s, the Guardian had a particular reputation for being slow in the news. “The Telegraph broke the news today, the Guardian commented yesterday,” Cecil King, head of publishing house IPC, wanted to say goodbye. So when Stead joined a table, he finally ran, and it became the Guardian’s mission to make a worthy competitor on Fleet Street. “I was tired of bothering us by not being as fast as the other characters,” he recalled in an interview before he died.
During his tenure, Stead and his team created a special stream with real impact. In 1971, the Guardian disclosed that private investigators had leaked information from Whitehall departments, the Criminal Records Bureau, and banks; Then-Prime Minister Edward Heath ordered an investigation and strengthened security. In 1973, a dedicated correspondent, Adam Raphael, established that major British companies often pay their wages to workers in South Africa who are below the hunger line. The problem was taken up by a selection committee and eventually rectified.
So how does magic happen? I learned that it came from determination and utter enthusiasm. This is not a job that allows you to kill yourself. Stories follow, and all the facts must be true or you are in trouble. As Stead said, “You always use your brain”.
Throughout the day he discussed the “rhythm of the desk” at conferences and with other editors. “You have to go through a news list, there will be 20 items, you have to tell me about each one, you don’t have time to practice,” he recalled. “You have to fix everything because there are a lot of experts sitting around the table.” He said that at the conference he was afraid to compare broadcast and television.
The conference schedule and attendance list may have changed, but the expectations have not changed. Every day, one of us reads the news list in our afternoon meeting. We need to know about each of the 20 to 40 stories that make up the agenda, from big stories about the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan to short stories about the lost whales on the Thames or the mysterious deaths of chicken harriers at Sandringham. . On the first page we sell stories that we think deserve, that go unnoticed, and that add some humor or lightness.
One of the things I enjoy most about being at the table is the collaboration. If leaders from fellow editors meet together in the morning and decide on the day’s big stories and how we cover them, journalists can work on longer-term projects and participate in the turmoil or suffering of significant national development. No, I have never felt lonely. Too much pressure, silly things in an emergency will make you laugh. One of our desk managers, who answered several calls throughout the day, asked out loud: “We don’t hold meetings with reporters like we go to the library and ask for a bag of chips!”