Anatomy of a Story on TWT Sale

hughes.jpgWaPo‘s Ian Shapira breaks down the story of the pending sale of TWT this afternoon in a Story Lab feature. What’s noteworthy: the conversation Shapira had with DCRTV’s Dave Hughes (pictured here), who explains how he came to “report” that TWT was “perilously close” to shuttering. Hughes wrote the item completely blind — as in, based on a completely unknown source who just sends him stuff blindly. Did Hughes think to check facts or call TWT? Nope.

After Hughes’s salacious item published, a TWT editorial staffer remarked to FishbowlDC: “The site looks like it was put together by a f–king third grader. For Christ sake, the guy wears a hoodie and a goatee. This is clearly not a journalist.”

An excerpt of Shapira’s story:

It turns out that Hughes’s reporting consisted of receiving an anonymous email. In an interview, Hughes, 52, of Reston, said he occasionally receives reliable tips about the Times from the same email account. Hughes said he has no clue who the source is. “I just get this source sending me this stuff blindly,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s a man or a woman. I just know the email address. I don’t know who it is. I get people like that all the time.”

Read the full story here.

Read a frighteningly spectacular 2006 FishbowlDC Interview of Hughes here in which he utters the word, “woof!” as it pertains to his beard and admits that he owns many, many pairs of camouflage pants. Check out Hughes’s hoodie after the jump…