Tales from the Water Cooler: Extracting drops of newsworthiness

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The Independent Online

As you might expect in a thrusting, modern newspaper office, people round here are usually first in the queue when it comes to finding out about world events. Not much gets past us.

Well, I say that. Stories about the fennel- and marjoram-based skin-care regimes favoured by the chaps of Made in Chelsea, and the lengths to which Jessie J will go to find a packet of Skips when she’s on tour in Burundi tend to get ignored in favour of actual news. Of course, once each sparkling item of new news arrives at the throbbing heart of this organisation, our crack team of journalists pause their incessant Candy Crushing and leap on each data nugget like hungry wolves on a discarded Peperami wrapper, yanking it this way and that; extracting every drop of newsworthiness.

After the reporters have finished with it, a story’s next destination is, of course, the Water Cooler, where those clustered around in feckless ennui, occasionally kicking each other on the shins for amusement, can instead chew over events like native Sioux using their uncorrupted gnashers to soften a new pair of moccasins. And normally this is fine.

But don’t waste our time. This week someone called the newsroom and told us that the Vatican had started a cricket team and had aspirations of playing at Lords, as if we would give a monkey’s about that. What do you take us for… Metro?