CHICAGO—Daring you—yes, you, who thinks they’re so smart—to show us how you’d fare in the world of rigorous long-form journalism, a short brief published by The Onion Wednesday encouraged you, dear reader, to go ahead and tell us the goddamn news for a change. “Hey, Captain Informed Citizen, if this is so easy, then why don’t you go out there and do some research, huh? What, are you too good to get a notebook and fetch us some sort of huge scoop?” the report read in part, going on to challenge you to find story tips, follow them up, reject the ones that don’t pan out, ferret out sources on the hot leads, confirm your facts, reject your biases, and see the story through editing and on to publication for once in your pathetic life. “You think you can hold a candle to America’s Finest News Source? Uh huh. Right. Put up or shut up, pal. We’re waiting with bated breath for your Pulitzer-winning investigation. Seriously, though? Jackasses like you who repost news on social media and take the ‘experts’ on Reddit at face value? All while refusing to pay for real journalism? You’re the ones responsible for the death of this industry.” The report concluded by requesting—no, daring—you to fill the blank space that follows with something you’ve done that, in your oh-so-worthwhile opinion, qualifies as decent journalism. Go.
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