I pretty much stepped out of university and walked into the Gulf News newsroom as a wide-eyed trainee. Almost 13 years later, I look back at the person who walked into the newsroom, and the newsroom itself, and on the surface not much seems to have changed. But pay slightly more attention, and you’ll notice some big changes. I am no longer the excitable trainee ‘bouncing off the walls’ as a team member initially noted. The rose-tinted glasses have also been well and truly removed by my editor and mentor. The last feedback I received from a colleague pleasantly surprised me – she noted “how organised” I was. I will be honest, it took me aback. “You’ve come a long way,” my editor responded with a smile.
Glance around the newsroom, and quite like me, basic appearances haven’t changed much – the layout of desks, many faces, the colour scheme of the walls are still familiar. But look deeper and you see a massive shift – our digital presence has become bigger than ever, with so much more content being produced by every section within the newsroom. And it continues to grow.
This evolution of the newsroom and its members has been one I feel deeply connected to. Over the years, I have had the chance to work under editors who aren’t just hard taskmasters, they are also there to back you up. So, you are pushed to deliver but are always part of a tightly knit team. So, I’ll admit, as a fresh graduate, I lucked out. I walked into the newsroom back in November 2007, ready to work hard but blissfully unaware how much I had to learn. The learning continues. However, even today, just like Day 1 at Gulf News, the basic philosophy of creating content remains the same – to be of value to our readers.