Under dazzling lights sits Brooke Baldwin in a bright red dress, her back straight as a pin and her blonde hair even straighter. Light bounces off shiny surfaces, making the CNN Newsroom studio gleam while Baldwin talks directly into the camera. Her mannerisms are cool and collected while her surroundings are sleek, creating a visual reproduction of the perfect news story: concise, organized, and important.
The rest of CNN’s fifth floor newsroom is more like a news story that has not yet been edited or perhaps just a collection of facts written hastily on a couple of crumpled sticky notes. The studio sits like a raised box in the middle of the room, caged in by giant lights and sweeping cameras, but outside of it, the walls are lined with flashing buttons, computer screens and televisions all playing a different channel. The air is thick and hushed, noise levels are low for the show currently broadcasting, and voices are replaced with the click-clack of keyboards.
Cubicles sprawl across the room, each in a different state of disarray. One sits empty, with the remnants of a journalist on the go: chair pushed out, three pairs of shoes under the desk, a forgotten lunch, and a half-full cup of coffee, probably gone cold. Other desks have multiple occupants as journalists, producers, and editors huddle together in whispered conversations, surrounded by stacks of paper, clicking away on computers.
The newsroom is a beehive, and while the bright studio sitting center stage might seem like a glaring distraction at first, it soon becomes clear that the filming of the show is merely one part of a larger process. The clean lines of the studio and Baldwin’s perfectly straight hair are an outward calm. Inside the hive, there is an army of people working together seamlessly, and a little chaotically, to keep up with the unstoppable flow of news.