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Don't Go

Newsroom PDX, Volume 2

L.J. Breedlove

Published by L.J. Breedlove, 2021.

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By L. J. Breedlove

Published by L. J. Breedlove

Copyright 2021 L. J. Breedlove

ISBN: 9781393087137

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase a copy. Thank you for respecting the work this author.


This is a work of fiction. While place descriptions and news events may coincide with the real world, all characters and the plot are fictional.

Contact Information

For more information about this author, please visit www.ljbreedlove.com. Email address is lois@ljbreedlove.com.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28





Hold Me | Postscript

Further Reading: Choose

Also By L.J. Breedlove

About the Author


This is dedicated to Veronica Gomez Vilchis and to the amazing mentors of the Central Washington University Bridges Project who taught me so much about Mexican American culture, Dreamers and the children without a country. And to all of those children I worked with, believe without a doubt that any sane country would be grateful to call you its own. May the United States regain that sanity soon.

Chapter 1

4 p.m. Tuesday, October 20, 2020, Eyewitness News newsroom — The newsroom began to fill up with reporters and videographers as it always did in the late afternoon. Portland State University student media necessarily started its workday late.

Supposedly it was after the staff were done with classes.

Or, more likely, when they woke up because of a late night before.

Editor-in-Chief Ryan Matthews snorted. He knew which of those was more likely.

He loved this place. He had since the day he first walked in four years ago.

It was an enviable newsroom: the university had ceded over an old warehouse in a trade to get the more highly trafficked space student media had occupied for decades in the student union building. From the outside, the newsroom looked like a lot of the buildings on the west end of campus: a 3-story building of white painted brick with the ‘40s architecture found all over campus.

On the first floor were the business and advertising offices. The newsroom was on the second floor, reached by a flight of stairs or an old, creaky elevator. Two brick enclosures formed an entrance to the newsroom — one housed bathrooms, the other was the storage closet for all of the video cameras and other equipment — with a wooden counter in between that stopped visitors from just wandering in.

The newsroom surprised people: red brick walls, 20-foot ceilings, cement floors — it looked like a high-tech office in Portland’s trendy Pearl District rather than a college newsroom tucked away among PSU’s storage warehouses and parking structures. Other university newsrooms might compete with sophisticated equipment — Arizona State’s Cronkite School was amazing, PSU students conceded — but Eyewitness News was proud of two things: its independence, and the architecture of its newsroom. The university administrators bragged publicly about both and privately ground their teeth about the independence.

The whole east wall was dominated by 16-foot-high, arched windows — cursed by every TV station manager since the newsroom moved in. A whole protective shell had been built to house the sound stage for the nightly broadcast news show. The sports staff had claimed the small space between the shell and the windows for their own. The windows didn’t bother them, night owls that they were.

In the center of the wide-open loft, the newsroom was set up with pods of computer stations, some for writers, some for editors, and some — the most coveted — for video editing. Used to be five computer stations to a pod, but nine months ago, the news editor had reconfigured them to four stations to allow for more social distancing. She’d added hand cleansers at all the pods and made wearing masks mandatory. So far COVID had not invaded them, and they had managed to keep the newsroom running even when the university put the rest of academics online.

Ryan credited his news editor Emily Andersen for keeping COVID out of the newsroom. For such a kind person, she could be a tyrant about safety protocols.

Surrounded by the computer pods was the “living room” with two deep green couches and matching over-stuffed chairs scrounged from the alumni center when it upgraded a lounge. Green, because green was PSU’s color, for which the staff was grateful. The school colors could have been something horrible like the orange and black of their downstate competitor Oregon State University.

Ryan still mourned missing out on the black leather couches from the upgrade of the Provost’s office, two years ago. Those would have been cool. The living room had glass tables — from the refurbishing of the President’s office — and black pole lights a previous editor had contributed when he graduated.

Along the north wall were three glassed in offices. The largest one in the northwest corner was the Geek Room housing the newsroom servers, which was protected by the Head Geek ferociously. The center office was for the faculty advisor who was rarely there, and the northeast corner was for the Editor-in-Chief.

“And whoever thought a glass office for an EIC was a good idea ought to have been shot,” Ryan muttered. He liked the upscale loft look, he really did, but some things belonged behind closed doors, closed doors that no one could see through, damn it.

When the Black Lives Matter protests began over the death of George Floyd, the editors had agreed to do a full-staff summer program rather than the usual reduced one. Ryan had reworked the budget and found some

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