I love meeting other journalists. Not only because, in a fast-changing world, we all want to know what’s going on in other newsrooms/publications and whether things are as bad, worse or better there than in our own sphere.
But because, being journalists, we’re nosy. We want to know what’s going on out there. (My grandpa’s nickname for me was Little Miss Why, for good reasons.)
Which is why, even when I’m swamped with work, I cannot resist going out once or twice a week for a breakfast/lunch/dinner that involves other journalists who work in similar worlds to me.
Unlike general reporters, who have to write about whatever their editors demand (one minute it might be a dog show, the next a gas explosion, or the Tory Party Conference), those of us in more specialist areas, such as travel, often work as packs. We know each other. We are fascinated by the same things. We confer. We sometimes travel together. And some of us have even become friends.
In a world in which so much today is done digitally it’s a treat to catch-up with other fellow humans and do things the old-fashioned way: face to face. To mull things over in a group, argue about them and figure out what everyone’s views are.
Last night, at a dinner, I had time to have a long chat with a fellow editor, to discuss a new hotel with writer who’d just got back from a trip, to consider an invitation to be a tour guide, to meet a zoologist whom I’d like to interview, and to come up with new angles for two stories I’d like to write.
That’s a whole lot more than I achieved at my desk yesterday afternoon, ploughing through a billion emails. The wine wasn’t bad, either…