National Post VICE — An Ode to Good Ol’ Fashioned Journalism
First and foremost, if you’ve yet to read Sean Craig and Adrian Humphreys story in the National Post about an ex-VICE Canada editor’s workplace-fueled drug ring please do — you’re doing yourself a disservice (there’s the added bonus of this blog only making sense in the context of the Post piece but that’s neither here nor there).
There’s a humourous “law” in journalism called Betteridge’s law of headlines, perhaps you’ve heard of it? Betteridge’s law states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.“ Though this concept had been eluded to under different monikers as far back as the early 90s, the man for whom the theory finally stuck was one Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist, whose circa 2009 tongue-in-cheek adage was a shot at the falling standard of journalism in the rise of the digital age — and the so-called “clickbait” journalism it brought with it.
(Exhibits A, B, and C):
Is Jay-Z a time-traveller? — The Sun (UK)
Is SpongeBob SquarePants the New Che Guevara? — VICE (US)
So it should come as no surprise that when all pretense is conspicuously absent from a headline in the digital age, as it was for Sean Craig and Adrian Humphrey’s story on VICE you’re in for one hell of a story:
And what a story it was. In the piece National Post media reporter Sean Craig and Post crime reporter Adrian Humphreys (plus however many others in the Post newsroom that deserve praise for this piece) put on an absolute clinic of high-level investigative journalism.
Craig and Humphries checked their sources:
Craig and Humphries checked their sources sources:
Craig and Humphries told you who (Slava Pastuk), what (global drug smuggling ring), where (YYZ✈️->LAS✈️->SYD✈️️), when (2015), why ($10-15K), and they even threw in the how for good measure:
All this, while also painting the reader a picture of the culture at VICE and how such activities could go on undetected in the workplace.
And of course, they checked that too:
It is for these reasons that it’s proposed a new kind of Betteridge’s Law be made. A law named in our author’s honour that kicks it old-school via some good ol’ fashioned capital j Journalism; let’s call it Craigphrey’s Law of headlines:
“When all pretense is conspicuously absent from a headline in the digital age you’re in for one hell of a story.”
—Craighphrey’s Law, 2017
Move over Crockett and Tubbs there’s a new dynamic-duo in town, and they prosecute with the full force of the law — Craigphrey’s Law.