The New York Post Tells its Reporters They Must Now Commit Actual Journalism

“…Brother’s headin' that way now, I guess
He just read somethin', made his face turn blue
Well I got nothin' 'gainst the press
They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true…”
- Joe Jackson, “Sunday Papers”

An edict has come down from on high at the New York Post that its reporting staff must now do actual journalism, as opposed to whatever the hell it was they have been doing for the past few years.

Of course, being it’s the New York Post, it comes with a decidedly Murdochian twist. The reporting staff at the paper are no longer allowed to use The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC as their source material. The lowly scribes at the paper have to now – gasp! – actually pick up their phones and call someone.

It’s what is known as actually reporting on a story.

Like an editor of mine used to scream at us when he was pissed because we’d claim nothing was going on, “Call someone up! Find something out!”

According to The New York Times (oh, well, I guess now I can’t ever work at the The Post), “Post journalists who now spot a report on the four forbidden outlets that they think is worth writing up must now do some reporting before they go to the keyboard.”

Ouch!

While it has become common practice for reporters – the ones who do non-opinion writing at least – to use other publications or cable news broadcasts as their source material for stories – especially in the digital age – it’s the lazy way to do things.

The correct way to go about it would be to use a story say in The Times as a jumping off point and independently corroborating the facts in the story. The journalist should either contact the sources named in the story and ask if what The Times reported is true, or find separate sources to corroborate the information published in the paper. Then they would get some fresh quotes to use in their own stories.

But that takes work. What used to be called “leg work.” The reporter would actually have to call someone on the phone and either make plans to talk to them in person or talk on the phone about the story.

“The Post is short-staffed, the three journalists said. Some reporters write five or more articles a day. That is partly what makes them turn to the work of other outlets,” The Times noted.

Oh, poor babies! They actually have to work for a living. They should try working for a wire service if they want to complain about writing five stories a day.

The Times notes that high level editors at The Post haveexpressed dissatisfaction” with recent coverage of Donald Trump because reporters were using the four outlets to publish actual factual stories.

What the hell were those reporters thinking? Facts have no place at any Murdoch-run outlet. I guess they didn't get the memo.

The Post had recently moved away from its fawning coverage of Trump and in December even published an editorial calling on him to give up his stolen election charade and move on.

But I guess that was a bridge too far for the top brass at the paper. Apparently they think coverage of Trump’s post-presidency will be lucrative for the publication, so they don’t want to piss anyone off, particularly Trump.

But how are the reporters going to cope with writing fawning stories about Trump and painting Joe Biden as evil, all in the same day?

Maybe they should prepare to write more than five stories a day.

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