Life in Pittsburgh and at the Post-Gazette

By Waqas Banoori

While the orientation seminar in Washington, DC was a wonderful experience, I was curious about the working environment of my host newsroom, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PG). Now I have finally arrived to Pittsburgh, a beautiful and hilly city, and I am settling into my new life at the PG and in this “steel city”.

My first day at the PG began with introductions and a warm welcome. Then there was a meeting of the section editors. One of the editors shared the public responses to stories published the preceding day, then each editor pitched ideas for stories for their sections. The meeting ended and the whole team left to tackle their assignments. An evening meeting followed to discuss completed stories and those in progress. The whole working style of the newsroom is entirely new for me, as we hardly do this exercise, especially being a newswire.

The next day, I attended an editorial desk meeting wherein the whole editorial team discussed different points for the next day’s editorial section. It was a wonderful experience.

This past week I have been exposed to amazing activities and lessons within the newsroom and the journalism field as well as outside the newsroom. And I have experienced so many firsts. I have been to a baseball game (I would have called it match earlier) for the first time in my life. I have attended a murder trial in the county court and saw the differences between the working of legal system in the U.S. and back home. I attended a guild party and observed how it supports the rights and protection of its employees. I went to a mayoral debate as well as a plantation campaign led by hundreds of volunteers. Last, but not least, I attended a discussion at Duquesne University with the controversial Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

All this to say, I am very excited!