Working the overnight hours can be quiet. I love that. I'm the only one in the newsroom for the first couple of hours, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

It can also be lonely. Not many people work overnight, and even with the births of more and more ways to connect to people worldwide, it's a small population what makes their living while the sun is down.

I forgot what one of these even looks like.

Enter the AM Newsers. As I started to embrace Twitter more in both a personal and professional capacity, I started encountering people who not only worked the same hours I do, but who work in the same profession I do.

It probably started with Troy, a producer in Kansas City with whom I'd share and exchange information on Missouri-based stories. He'd ask for details on a murder in Columbia, I'd ask for more information on a robbery in Independence. Stuff like that.

As time went on, I came across other producers and anchors and reporters who used Twitter as much or more than I do. We began interacting with each other, sharing the crazy stories going on in our DMA (Designated Market Area = viewing area) on a given day.

This is our neighborhood.

More than that, though, we chat over Twitter about less work-related stuff: what we brought for lunch/breakfast that day, what movies we had recently enjoyed, how dumb Celebrity X is and why, etc. We share our frustrations about outdated news technology, crazy people calling the newsroom about who know's what, and how the weekend never comes soon enough.  Some are nerds just like me; some are nerds about other stuff; some are just news junkies.

It's become a tight-knit community, a circle of friends on whom I can regularly count to cheer me up, validate my idiotic attempts at humor or agree when I say AP Newscenter is the worst piece of news-related software ever invented. How tight-knit?

Tighter-knitterer than this.

One of the AM Newsers, Kevin in North Carolina, came up with a Secret Santa plan for Christmas this year. It didn't involve purchased gifts (we're in the news business = we're all poor); instead, each person would come up with a haiku for another person, chosen at random. I have no idea who wrote one for me, but I love it:

*Takes Darth Vader breath/
Happy Holidays, my friend,/
Your wit never ends.

Apparently this what I conjure up in the minds of my counterparts. I'm okay with that.

I thought it was a fantastic idea, a lot of fun to do, and made my day.

So Happy Holidays to the AM Newser crew- you guys/gals make each weekday morning fun and bearable and unique!

The AM Newsers, in no particular order (apologies if you're not on the list, let me know and I'll add you): Michelle in Tulsa, Ryan in Dallas, Seth in New York, Kevin in North Carolina, Todd in Alaska, Cate in California, Kristin in Tulsa, Jay in Springfield, Josh in Washington, D.C., Troy in Kansas City, Ron in Tulsa, Wiley in Oregon, Chris in Kansas City, Megan in Columbia, Lindsay in Florida, Jason in Tulsa, Jennifer in Wichita, and I guess I have to include Evan and Lauren in Columbia.

If you want to follow our weird/crazy/funny musings on Twitter, check out #AMNewsers - maybe someday they'll write a book about us).


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