In what might be described as the journalism equivalent of ambulance chasing, the Washington Post is inviting readers to tell it how their lives have been ruined by President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The Post’s main web page includes this:
Are you, or someone you know, affected by President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and migrants from the U.S.? Share your story with us.
If you follow the link, you get this screen:
Are you, or someone you know, affected by President Trump’s travel restrictions?
President Trump issued an executive order barring refugees and migrants from predominantly Muslim countries from entry into the United States. If this affects you or someone you know, The Washington Post wants to hear from you.
Who is affected and why? *
Explain your/their situation to us in as much detail as you can provide. *
For example, if the person affected is currently detained at an airport, left in limbo during travel, etc.
How can we reach you or the person affected by the order?
Please provide contact information – phone, email, or both – which a reporter may use to get in touch and learn more. We will not publish your contact information.
Reader response may already be robust. The main page currently contains these stories: “She was barred from visiting her sick mother” and “‘Trump destroyed my life’” and “‘We’re second-class citizens’” and “He was days from moving to the U.S.”
I’ve been reading the Post for 55 years. I don’t recall the paper ever running individualized story after individualized story about how particular people have been affected by a government policy. Nor do I recall the Post ever soliciting such stories.
I also don’t recall the Post engaging in this sort of journalism when Donald Trump intervened to prevent companies from moving plants from the U.S. to foreign countries. The Post easily could have run multiple stories about workers whose jobs Trump saved, thereby rescuing their economic situation. The Post could have elicited information about the dire consequences particular people would have faced if the company had moved its operation abroad.
To the best of my recollection, the Post didn’t do so.
It can’t be that the Washington Post is out to get our new president, can it?