Newsrooms with a view

The news that McClatchy has sold The Miami Herald property didn’t come as a surprise. The site on Biscayne Bay had been on the market for a while. Now, a resort hotel will replace the Herald in a few years, and the newspaper’s operations will move, presumably to the suburbs.

I never worked at the Herald, but I walked by the building when the American Copy Editors Society held its annual conference in Miami in 2007. I noticed that the newsroom was in a scenic location, and I thought about how nice it would be to work there and look out on the water.

I’ve worked in four newsrooms during my professional career. None was in a location as scenic as the Herald’s. Here’s a look at each one:

Newspaper: News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.

Building style: Low-slung 1970s utilitarian.

View: Not much. Most of the main newsroom’s windows face away from any interesting architecture downtown and toward the employee parking lot.

Newspaper: The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.

Building style: Dreary 1950s modernist.

View: Minimal, although the reporters and editors on the business desk could see Nash Square, a small park that includes a statue of N&O publisher Josephus Daniels.

Newspaper: The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

Building: Squat brick building with art-deco touches in the entry and lobby.

View: The third-floor newsroom offered a panoramic look at the Mississippi River. Even the Interstate 10 bridge looked lovely once the sun went down and the lights came on. Alas, the Advocate moved to suburbia in 2005, leasing space from disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Its building on the river was torn down.

Newspaper: Los Angeles Times

Building style: 1930s monumental (with its stunning Globe Lobby) melded with 1970s generic.

View: Varied. The best vistas were of the iconic City Hall as well as Walt Disney Concert Hall in the distance. Much of the main newsroom, however, overlooked office buildings, parking garages and vacant lots.

So I’ve never been as fortunate as the editors at the Herald. Now that I am teaching, I enjoy coming to work on the charming campus at UNC-Chapel Hill. My classroom, however, is a windowless space, and here’s what I see from my office at Carroll Hall, home of the journalism school:

It’s not much, but this summer, I’ll get to move down the hall and enjoy a classic collegiate view of historic buildings, brick walkways and shade trees.

Finally, an office with a view: I’m looking forward to it.