Yesterday I had the very special opportunity to get a private tour of the Boston Herald by their editor in chief, Joe Sciacca. He was a very kind and generous man who took a lot time of his busy day to show me and my family how a modern news organization works. Joe had invited us to come visit him after I was introduced to him by news reporter, Matt Fitzgerald when we were all at a Red Sox game a couple of weeks ago. I arrived at the Herald around 1:30pm and Joe met us in the lobby.
He gave us a tour of the studio. Our first stop was the archive room. “This is what they had before the internet”, Joe Sciacca said. It was organized like a library card catalog, except filled with newspaper clippings from over the years. We found old files on John F. Kennedy and former NESN announcer Jerry Remy.
Our next stop was the Boston Herald radio studio. We met Tyler Sullivan and Chris Villani as they took a break from a show on Tom Brady’s DeflateGate appeal.
They let me in, and I sat in the same chair that Patriots Jonas Gray and Dominique Easley sat in last week.
They let us in to the production room as well. I saw the Boston skyline background shown behind the radio hosts on a computer in place of the green screen. They were very generous and gave my brother and me Boston Herald Radio T-Shirts.
Joe stressed that all learning about all multimedia platforms is very important to be a successful news organization today. That was good news because I am starting a multimedia camp next week at Worcester Academy (http://www.worcesteracademy.org/) for the next two weeks.
Our next stop was a studio for video reporters. One of the things filmed here are the movie reviews. Joe also showed us a back area where they kept backpacks filled with video equipment like cameras and tripods so that reporters could cover a story all on their own. We also paused for a photo opportunity.
After that, we visited a photography room. He mentioned that there used to be a dark room, where photos were developed but now that everything is digital it is a bit different.
Then we visited the main news room. I met the sports editors, Rachel Fox, Sean Leahy and Mark Murphy, and the main Red Sox writer Scott Lauder. Lauder is one of three Herald staff members that attended last night’s Red Sox-Orioles game.
After that we visited a conference room where the staff meets to plan out the newspaper each day. They lay it out on formatting sheets to use as a model for the printed paper.
The last stop was Joe Sciacca’s office. There were some cool things to see in there, like an old fashioned typewriter with a carrying case that reporters used before computers. He gave me the Fenway 100 year anniversary issue of the paper and a packet of articles that had tips on how to be a good journalist.
He mentioned that he was a journalist for over 30 years before becoming editor in chief. Lastly, I got to sit in in Sciacca’s chair. I felt special in that chair.
This day was an unforgettable experience, and I was very inspired by this visit.