Confessions of a Newsnight insider
- 26 Mar 08, 12:52 PM
On our uppers
There are two drugs of choice in the Newsnight office.
Both are strong stimulants which are widely available in the world of the media. They induce a sense of heightened reality and aliveness, but in excess can give rise to irritability, palpitations and even panic.
You may know them as caffeine and adrenaline.
Visitors to Television Centre are often amazed by the number of coffee concessions we have here. One reason, I think, is that journalists (among others) frequently work more than 12 hours on the trot; another main driver is smoking - or lack of.
Now that nicotine consumption here is reduced to a furtive minority activity miles away by the canteen waste, what else is there to do at break time? It’s said that addicts frequently replace one addiction with another; the journey from nicotine to caffeine is well traversed.
Adrenaline has the advantage over caffeine of being free - plus, there’s no queue. If only you could get adrenaline loyalty cards.
As if a building-wide smoking ban wasn’t enough, an area on the fourth floor where hirsute broadcast engineers used to swill real ale and swap stories about creative cabling solutions is now given over to a gym. A GYM?? Are we going soft..?!
Give it a couple of years and we’ll all be drinking fresh carrot juice with ginseng, hooked up to a heart monitor.
Passing the (Star)buck
Perhaps we should be tough on the causes of caffeine. If only we didn’t have that 50 minute appointment with you each weekday night from 10.30, none of this would happen.
It’s your fault we’re all stimulant junkies. ;-)