In Al-Ahram daily's newsroom, where there are over 500 journalists working, we don't have communication system, which mean we still don't have computer system accessible for all journalists, actually. Eh eh there.. There.. OK I will just put it, there are many journalists don't use computers. Especially over forties guys.
Also with three buildings, with more than 11 thousand employees there isn't a phone index (for example) for the extension numbers.
So, we have 2 daily Arabic papers, 2 weekly papers, one in English one in French, and 12 other publications, weekly, monthly and periodically.
In order to contact a colleague, ether in the news room or in other publication you have to call the operator (switch) ask about his or her number, the switch guy will take a seconds and give you the number, I'm not sure they depend on their memory or they look in some written something. Sometimes he put hand on the handset asking the guys beside him (what is the number of....) sometimes, and many times, he gives the wrong number. So you have to call the operator AGAIN, you should be careful, and never lose your temper or they will turns your reputation and call you the snobbish boy or girl and even, torture you by simply not answering your called as your extension will appear to them so they will give you the duff ear.
So, in order to contact a colleague the system is to write him, her a letter, there is a special envelop for this way of communication, titled " internal something" any way
You write a letter give it to the secretary office and they take care of sending it with the office boys to the write person, the assigned office boy for the newsroom named Ahmed, he is over fifty five, he has a whit face, gray hair, he is a little bit beio’rog ( can’t walk straight because of some thing wrong in his leg- don’t know it in Engligsh)
It’s might take a few days to get an answer, or you might not get it at all as the letter might end lying on your disc and some carious person opened it and torn it and through it away.
But it doesn't matter to 3am Ahmed, he faithfully sincerely keep going around the newsroom holding letters, putting it on the discs.
To be honest, most reporters go other way, simple by asking for the cell phone number of the one needed to be contact and give him/her a call.
But in general the communication system called Uncle Ahmed.