I sit here writing this in a newsroom, an actual newsroom.
The lights above me buzz in time with my heartbeat and the collective feeling within the room is one of absolute gold.
As a child, you see the beat of a hummingbird’s wings on those nature commercials in between your favorite shows. They’re set up between that commercial about the ‘elusive’ house hippo and the public service announcements for anti-drug campaigns about “reefer” and “prescription devils”.
The hummingbird, the only bird able to command the attention of people around it with its odd movements and patterns, is not loud like the Woodpecker or the Magpie; it waits its turn and does the undercover stuff inside the trees that people might not even notice.
Those educational commercials will tell you that hummingbirds are almost silent, but when you’re a kid, you associate vibrating or fast moving things with sounds like a buzz, a whoosh or more importantly, a hum.
A hum reminiscent of the bees on my button-down shirt stained with bright red lipstick that I didn’t notice till much too late, or the feeling you get when you run too fast in the frigid air and don’t walk afterwards. How you can feel all your limbs slow down in time with you catching your breath, full of icicles and wonder.
It’s the hum that got me excited in the first place. It’s why driving to the far reaches of our town near the factories and big box stores to be situated in my dream place for even a minute was worth it.
It wasn’t what I expected and that was ok.
I walked in expecting a newsroom abuzz with phone calls, typewriters and loud mouthed Lois Lanes and editors yelling to get the scoop or else.
Truthfully, I was expecting the newsroom in Metropolis, where Clark Kent would go to live out his days when he wasn’t the caped crusader, Superman.
It wasn’t that though, it was better.
Mind you, this, coming from the words of girl obsessed with comics and the like for most of her life meant something, still does.
It wasn’t a scene out of Superman because all of these people were their own superheroes and although they were fighting for a different kind of justice they were all reporting, tweeting, and Facebooking for the greater good. The greater good – the information being sent out at every instant is powerful and can affect the people around you, how they live out their days and how they plan out their schedules.
All of these people, the heroes, the reporters and videographers and anchors buzzed around without a care in the world trying to find their next scoop, the next place to run to get the most up to date information regarding the election and the candidates involved.
Apart they were good, but together? They were the Justice League, pumping out newscasts and information as fast it came to them.
For one night I too, was a superhero.
It was my job to pay attention to each one of the polls closing, from Lethbridge and its surrounding small towns who may not have had as a big of a news organization to keep them up to date.
I was my very own caped crusader pounding out tweets and Facebook videos through Global Lethbridge’s feeds. It was a powerful feeling and all the more important to me because it was something that I was wholly passionate about. Not tweeting, or Facebooking but just being there.
Seeing the fruits of my labour helping everyone in the newsroom throughout the night, as well as doing my task, was awesome.
I tend to be a helpful person at nature, stretching myself thin to help others, it’s not a flaw to me it’s a strength. People rely on each other to keep them sane whether they admit it or not. That sort of ‘team’ atmosphere and the opportunities that come along with it are associated with the hum.
It’s what drives these people. For me, it might be related to productivity or the taste of that last drop of latte. For them, it’s the clock signaling the end of the polls and the click of the refresh button every few seconds to update the results faster. It’s the shuffle of the box of Timbits across the table in the main room, all of us dying for results, sugar highs and candidate locations.
It’s important, and it’s what separates the amateurs from the journalists, whether you can find the story versus it finding you too late.
Before I noticed the hum, my anxiety had me seriously contemplating my future in journalism, whether I could crack it or if my opinions were too heavy for the kind of audience I wanted to reach, then I found it…
It made me happy, it felt secure and promising, sort of like the smell just after it rains in the summer heat. You were waiting for it, a sign that it was OK to come out and enjoy the rainbow. Here it was, the hum, a sign.