WASHINGTON, D.C. — So uh, hi, I’m W.P. and I’m a recovering journalist.
chorus: Hey W.P.!
Hi. Some of you know that after putting together a few 24 news-free hours in a row, one day at a time, I did go back out there to conduct a little “research.”
(somber chorus nods as one)
And I was reminded that this thing is a progressive disease! You put down the notebook for a couple 24 hours. So you’re like “cured,” right?
(chorus murmurs knowingly)
Then it goes to checking tweets, updates, likes. Suddenly you care about the news … you find yourself talking to people on sidewalks outside pizza joints on lockdown after a near-mass shooting. Then you’re writing a lede … and then … then … a nut graf. Before long, it’s off to the races with the hashtags and the snapchatting and the whole nine yards.
Like today I saw in POLITICO how the Washington Post is gonna have more than 750 newsroom employees to kick off 2017. And I … I … kept reading.
(chorus coughs, crosses legs)
Hey, it was hard not to care, I couldn’t look away, I mean my wife did some great work for the Post before she passed back in February! Anyway POLITICO says the new hires would bring news staff up to 750, the third-highest of the the national papers.
That’s second to the New York Times, which has just over 1,300 news employees. The Wall Street Journal says it has 1,500. I think USA Today has like 450 if you count the potted plants. So, you know, I like thought I could like put it down, you know, after just a couple grafs. But I read the whole thing. And God help me, I blogged. And I blogged again. And again.
(chorus checks smartphone)
Anyway I guess all I can really say is that next time a guy discharges an AR-15 at a pizza place less than two miles from where I sleep, I’ll get myself to a meeting. Maybe this time it’ll stick. And with that I’ll pass.
“Thanks, W.P.! Keep coming back!”
Adapted from POLITICO story “‘Profitable’ Washington Post adding more than five dozen journalists,” by Ken Doctor, published Dec. 27, 2016.