The View From Here

This is usually where I provide the newspaper with a degree of transparency by talking about our production cycle or some other issue relevant to the staff.

Of course, none of us could have anticipated Wednesday’s events, and the staff learned just how fast priorities can change.

When Katharine burst into our newsroom and told us someone had just been shot, it felt like someone had thrown a lever.  Everyone jumped up and all wanted to know what had happened, people were grabbing cameras and trying to see out the windows… it was insane.

I don’t know for certain, but I’m fairly confident that we broke the news first on our page – and it’s amazing how fast news spreads, because within twenty minutes our phone was ringing off the hook with calls from news organizations all over the country trying to figure out what was happening.

Anyone who was on campus (or anyone who reads our excellent student newspaper) knows the basic rundown of events from there.  Police and SWAT showed up and locked down the campus, announcements were given to wait inside the classrooms, and officers went room to room escorting students and faculty alike off campus.

And suddenly, at around 3 pm that Wednesday, in the middle of the biggest news event to hit the campus for years, our staff was evacuated, and The Skyline View was without a newsroom.

We had discussed where we’d meet if we got separated, but we realized we’d need to find a place that offered free wifi if those of us fortunate enough to have laptops that day were going to continue updating content online.

We tried Barnes & Noble, as they advertised free wifi, but we quickly found that any public network was going to be so bogged down we’d never be able to get any work done.

It looked like we were going to have to go our separate ways and try and keep in touch via phone and e-mail, but it turned out that we were about to get handed a solution.

In an offer of gratitude that was difficult to accept, let alone believe, Kenny Martin’s parents offered to let us set up a temporary newsroom in their house.  They had wifi, power, and a space to work in, and that was more than we could have hoped for at that point.

So, to Marie and Mike Martin, I – as well as everyone here at The Skyline View – don’t think we’ll ever be able to thank you enough for letting us invade your home in the name of the news.  But you can bet we’re going to try.