The chaotic sound of the old newsrooms

It’s pretty difficult to concentrate to write something coherent when you’re surrounded by the loud noises of construction work. The workers next door are drilling and hammering to demolish some walls and make reforms in the apartment. I can’t isolate myself from this annoying circumstance and I only have gained a fried brain and an acute headache.

There was a time when I needed noises to help my concentration, out of pure habit. It was in the glorious times of the old journalism, before the computers invaded the newsrooms.

I was very young and eager to learn. the newsrooms were noisy places filled with the sound of the teletypes, the typewriters typing at the same time, mixed with loud conversations, phone calls, and so on. Together they formed an ambient sound in which you could isolate yourself and focus completely in the story you were writing. Even the noise of your own typewriter helped.

Besides, it was exciting when there was some big breaking news and the teletype bells began to ring “ding, ding, ding” and we all ran to the machine to see what had just happened.

When the computers arrived, the typewriters and the bells were silenced, and all that old ambient got ruined. Suddenly we could hear and understand every important or silly conversation around us and get distracted with them. Stay focused was harder.

At the beginning when I had everything ready to begin to write I had to recur to the headphones with music to isolate myself and be able to build up my story with the proper words.

Even now, after decades glued to my computer, I miss the chaotic sound of the old newsroom. It was inspirational for me.


Author: Olga Brajnović

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