In my current job, I spend a fair amount of time in a place called "The Back Row." Unlike the back row in a soap control room, this "back row" is not full of producers and network executives. It is the home of technicians and tech supervisors who edit news feeds and send clips to the network server. It is apparently a standard newsroom term, but as I have not spent most of my life in a newsroom, it is one that is new to me.
What's interesting for me about the "back row" is that, while it may not
be in the front, it still provides me with a view of news that I
wouldn't ordinarily get. Because I sit in the "back row," I see and hear
news feeds about primaries and debates and natural disasters that might
barely be on my radar in my regular life. Because I sit in the "back
row," I watch clips and packages put on the server by stations all over
the country, giving me insight into the world that I might never
When I was sitting in the control room front row, it was hard to think
about being anywhere else, for while I may have wanted to produce, I was
hesitant to leave the excitement of the trench that was the front row. These days, I'm
learning about a different kind of "back row." And along the way, I am
discovering how a little change of angle can really affect how I see the world.