Wednesday, June 29, 2005

newspaper facilities: an update

well, well, well. here is the promised update on the daily mail offices.

first of all, the mail will have none of this cost-saving, let's put our newspaper in the arse end of nowhere business. the offices are slap bang in the middle of high street kensington, seconds away from the tube and right next to M&S. It's the only newspaper office I've ever been in that made a proper attempt at security - my bag was checked and I had to go through a metal detector. (My sneaking suspicion is that this is because the Mail makes a better class of enemy than the Indy).

As I went up the escalators, it began to dawn on me that these were seriously swish offices. You come out onto a central atrium, all glass and whizzy lifts and real yukka plants and people drinking coffee. I don't know what I had expected (hundreds of gibbering monkeys at keyboards, being whipped regularly?) but this wasn't it. It even managed to have a waterfall without the whole place smelling like a municipal swimming pool (News International, take note).

Damn, I thought. If these are the wages of sin, show me the stock options and the pension plan.

(One last thing: the entire place is divided up into numbered rooms according to floor, so second floor rooms go 201, 202 etc. Looking for the toilet, as I always do, I saw a door: Room 101. What horrors might lurk in the Daily Mail's room 101 - unmarried mothers, bogus asylum seekers, perhaps the ever-elusive PC brigade? Sadly, it was catering supplies.)


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