NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A Visit to the Boston Globe

The ride into the city is making me antsy. Kim Whiting, my editor-in-chief, Jowi Meli, copy editor, and I pass the time on the commuter rail by exchanging our usual commentary on life. This of course includes the stresses of putting together a paper.

We discuss what we’re going to put where and all I can think about is the Globe’s budget meeting that we’re about to sit in on. Budget meetings, for those readers who aren’t familiar with the journalistic take, are where editors and the photography staff of a publication discuss the next issue’s layout. Particularly the front page.

At the Observer, we cover NECC news, so there usually aren’t too many stories vying for that main story, front page spot.

I sit there imagining all the hard-hitting stories we’ll hear about at The Globe’s meeting.

Can this train go any faster?

I notice one of the men along for the ride with us is reading The Wall Street Journal.

Being the broke college student I am, I squint to at least catch the headlines.

“The U.S. supports Europe in … plan”

I need new glasses, but as mentioned, I’m broke. I guess I’ll never know what Europe’s big plan is that we apparently support.

I stop to wonder if the Globe might mention it. Maybe I’ll find out.

Finally, the train pulls into North Station and, after doing our good deed of the day and helping an older woman off the train, our little trio meets up with Professor Amy Callahan.

Callahan was the one who set this whole thing up.

Once upon a mattress, she was an intern at The Globe and she was nice enough to show us her old ID and her business card.

I must say, her sense of nostalgia made me even more excited for the tour.

It’s great to be able to get to know my professor outside of the classroom. She’s a remarkable, inspiring woman.

It may be next to impossible to hold a conversation on the red line because of all the noise, but Callahan takes the time to talk to us students about transferring, politics, social injustice and different social movements.

I rise in anticipation as our group pulls into the JFK stop and we exit the train. Whiting is sure to capture our adventure through the lens of her camera.

Stepping out on to the balcony of the station, Callahan is quick to admit that there have been a lot of changes since she last set foot here.

She regains her bearings and we begin our short trek down Morrissey Boulevard towards The Boston Globe.

As the distinct script of The Globe’s nameplate came into view on the brick building in front of us, I began to hyperventilate.

The excitement had manifested itself into a panic.

The building we were approaching is home of one of the most well-known, well-respected publications in the Northeast. As a reporter, I felt so small and under qualified for the morning ahead.

I calmed myself down to ensure that I didn’t make a fool of myself.

Once at The Globe, our group of four joined Cleo Brigham and Nick Pantinas in the lobby.

The lobby was filled with historically significant things: an enlarged copy of the first edition of The Boston Globe, published March 4, 1872; a plaque dedicated to Charles H. Taylor, builder of The Boston Globe; and a quote from Taylor known as the cornerstone.

I was mystified.

It was so humbling to see how far The Globe had come since its conception. It just put into perspective how much work goes into making a publication and how much of an evolution needs to occur to become as reputable as The Globe.

The first edition sold for 4 cents and had mostly religious articles and church gossip. Now its pages are filled with local, national and international news of all kinds.

At 10 a.m. we took our seats for the budget meeting. The staff began to file in behind us and it was so surreal to think that if I work hard enough, that could be me one day.

All of the stories were so meaty and newsy.

They had exclusives, as in people broke special news to them, and I thought that was just so unreal.

I’ve sat in on budget meetings before for the Observer and The Eagle-Tribune, but the news The Globe was breaking was nothing like anything I’ve seen pass through either of those newsrooms in my time.

Then there was the depth of the questions they were asking.

It showed such professionalism and experience that they thought to ask whose waters were being affected by turbines offshores.

Some of the stories were up in the air and the editors weren’t sure if they would be done, they weren’t sure if their sources would come through and they were really honest about that.

I couldn’t wait to see what made it into the paper when it came out the next day because I would feel like I was a part of it. All because I sat in on the meeting.

After the meeting we got to have a quick Q&A with Christine Chinlund and David Skok, the managing editors for print and web.

I was elated when I saw the seventh member of our group, Tracy Mukami, walk through the door. Better late than never.

Listening to the other students’ questions was cool, just to see where their curiosities laid, but I loved getting to ask my own.

Mine was particularly directed at Chinlund.

“What is it like to climb the ladder to get where you are?” I asked.

It was intriguing to get her advice to keep working. It was nice to know I’m on the right track, taking the right steps.

Chinlund and Skok thanked us for being a great group and of course we thanked them for their time and we moved on to the tour portion of the morning.

The Globe was a walk down Memory Lane for Callahan and I think that was one of my favorite parts, seeing people still there 20-something years later.

Journalism is a commitment.

It’s not something people get into for the money, it’s something they do because it’s their passion.

Getting to tour The Globe was an experience I will never forget.