So stated celebrated American interior designer Albert Hadley.
That aside, newsroom staffers at the Kansas City Star are quaking with dread over the prospect of taking up residence in the newspaper’s vast, newly-redesigned newsroom.
“I should send you a picture,” says one newsroom inhabitant. “Everybody in the whole news division is going to be packed into it – news, sports, business, Ink, features – everybody except the library and the people in Johnson County will be squeezed in there. I mean everybody gets like a seven-by-seven cube and they have no high privacy boards so you’ll be able to see everybody’s heads, hear everybody. Imagine if you’re interviewing somebody.”
“Actually, it’s six-by-six,” counters another newsie. “It looks like a call center. Everyone’s just kind of crammed in and everyone’s on top of each other.”
How crowded is it?
“Very – that’s not a very good quote, but very.”
Phase one of the newsroom redo is slated to be completed soon.
“People are going to work from home a lot, the people who are able to anyway,” one staffer predicts. “Because people have a lot of room in the newsroom now and they won’t in the new one and they won’t have any privacy either.
“The south side will be done in a couple of weeks and then they’ll tear out the north side of the newsroom. And everyone is dreading the move except for the (few) people who have offices.”
The worst aspect of the new Star newsroom?
“People won’t have any privacy to do anything or be themselves.”
“Uh, they can rent out the third floor now, I don’t know. Maybe they can turn the third floor into a rave bar.”
The bottom line:
“In five years, it’ll probably be the same as the old newsroom again with stacks of junk piled on the empty desks of laid-off employees.”
The redesign and consolidation of news staffers underscores a recent flight of key staffers and gloomy morale among layoff-survivors.
“It just sucks to work here now,” sighs one staffer. “I have to work with 150 people where the specter of death is ever present and you can imagine what that’s like. It’s just no fun to work here anymore and who would want to?”