Journalist has deep appreciation for the U.S. Postal Service. Ex-Politico reporter and now freelancer Steve Friess has a first-person story out in TIME on his feelings of nostalgia for real live letters he receives in the mail and those he sends. He writes, “The much-maligned USPS is, to me, a symphony of efficiency and human determination. I was 5 when my grandmother instilled this awe, muting the TV in frustration because folks were whining to a reporter about an upcoming postal rate hike.” He says he’s never stopped thinking about his grandmother’s words. “I practically prance to the mailbox on afternoons when I gleefully realize when my partner hasn’t gone first,” he writes. “I feel a beat of disappointment on weekdays that turn out to be federal holidays, and I eagerly anticipate the mounds I’ll have to explore when I return from trips.” Read here.
It’s off the record and I have no comment. WTH? Politico‘s Dylan Byers gets all personal today about his experiences dealing with idiotic spokespeople who refuse to comment with their names. Even more ridiculous — and we’ve all as reporters experienced this — sometimes they refuse to comment and they do so off the record, making it technically difficult to even say the flack uttered words with a voice to you at all. Byers calls this “an absurd impossibility.” It’s true. Sometimes the spokesperson gets inexplicably riled over the idea that a writer might communicate that he or she declined to comment, even if that’s exactly what the speechless spokesperson didn’t do. See here.
The reporters who didn’t cover Newtown. TheWrap‘s out with a quirky story on the weirdness of Newtown essentially forbidding reporters from around the nation from coming to their city on the one-year anniversary of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “How many journalists actually went to Newtown?” asked the author Tim Malloy. “There’s no saying for sure, without, you know. The Associated Press, for one, noted in a Newtown-datelined story that church bells rang out 26 times Saturday morning, once for each of the 20 children and six women killed in the shooting.” He concluded, pretty insightfully, “With nothing to cover in terms of anniversary news, news outlets were left to cover each other. Which is, let’s be honest, pretty much our favorite thing.” Read here.