Beyond A Journalist's Byline

The desk of yours truly, on a Friday. And yes, it is typically this clean.

The desk of yours truly, on a Friday. And yes, it is typically this clean. John Asante/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Asante/NPR

Whether situated in a bustling newsroom, running from a cubicle to the field to cover a story or producing content from a home office, there's one thing many journalists share in common — messy desks. In years past, we have looked to movies like All The President's Men, Network, and Broadcast News to inform us of the environments in which writers and editors met deadlines. Some were stacked with papers and decorated with coffee cup rings, others were rather clean. Nowadays, the lives of those who we typically know by their headline or head shot have become a bit more transparent.

Just search through Twitter and you'll see up-to-the minute messages and sights from your favorite journos. I found it fascinating that a journalist would give the world an inside look into his job before we read about it in his next piece. Lately, I've started looking for more of these instances. And a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog on Tumblr called "View From My Desk".

So, I tweeted a photo of my desk (pictured above) to the blog creator, Carlton Purvis (currently the Assistant Editor and online editor at Security Management Magazine) and he gladly took my submission. Then I decided to ask him why he started the project:

View From My Desk takes an idea that was actually inspired by twitter and puts it to work in a new way. I think the public likes to follow journalists on twitter. I think it's because we get to watch and read things from people who's names we only know from bylines or we see on TV during news broadcasts - well, these people, the journalists are so much more than the one dimension you get to see regularly.

... I wanted to put something together where journalists could check out other newsrooms and the public could get a glimpse inside. Being able to see all the different things people keep on and around their desks is pretty awesome. It really helps give some personality to the people behind the bylines and I like that. My hopes are that people from newsrooms around the world will submit something. Anything from a newsroom in Africa would be priceless. I just want to eventually have a large collection of pictures of workspace for journalists/newsrooms around the world.

Journalists out there — what do your desks look like? Do you have more than two computer screens? A bunch of books stacked to the ceiling? Tell us! Better yet — show Carlton. You can reach him via Twitter at @CarltonPurvis.

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