This made me cry, in every way it’s possible to cry:
It was a noisy place to work. Dozens of typewriters hammered at carbon-copy books that made an eager slap-slap-slap. Phones rang–the way phones used to ring in the movies. Reporters shouted into them. They called out “boy!” and held up a story and copykids ran to snatch it and deliverer it to an editor. Reporters would shout out questions: “Quick! Who was governor before Walker?”
There were no cubicles. We worked at desks lined up next to each other row after row. Ann Landers (actually Eppie Lederer) had an office full of assistants somewhere in the building, but she insisted on sitting in the middle of this chaos, next to the TV-radio critic, Paul Molloy. Once Paul was talking on a telephone headset and pounding at a typewriter and tilted back in his chair and fell to the floor and kept on talking. Eppie regarded him, reached in a file drawer, and handed down her pamphlet, Drinking Problem? Take This Test of Twenty Questions.
When you went on an interview, you took eight sheets of copy paper, folded them once, and ripped them in half using a copy ruler. Then again. Now you had a notebook of 32 pages to slip in your pocket with your ball-point. You had a press card. You knew the motto of the City News Bureau: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. You were a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times.
By Roger Ebert, newspaperman. Sniff.