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Jim Ryan is a senior studying journalism and political science and editor-in-chief of The Post

From The Editor's Desk: Breaking news coverage important to ‘Post’ readers

I often hear that a journalist’s instincts take over in the midst of a breaking news event.

My first reaction when I heard of the fire in Uptown Athens on Sunday was to mistakenly run the wrong way down South Congress Street, away from the fire. I saw smoke, but it took me a trip around the block to find the fire.

Luckily for me, many of The Post’s staffers had better instincts than I. After shooting a quick video of the flames and jotting down a couple notes at approximately 5:30 a.m., I spent the rest of the day holed up in our newsroom, updating our coverage as new information became available.

A team of approximately 10 Post reporters and photographers stayed on the scene, feeding information back to our managing editor, Sara Jerde, and myself. Their reporting was read by thousands of readers — many of whom also shared our content on social media.

It’s common for readers to turn to our website for breaking news coverage, but Sunday’s online audience was far and away the largest that The Post has ever had during a single 24-hour period.

On Sunday alone, our online news stories, photos and videos were viewed more than 150,000 times. That affirms to me that The Post’s commitment to breaking news reporting is paying dividends to our readers.

Please don’t get me wrong: Posties don’t revel in situations of tragedy, panic or sadness. Rather, we know that it’s our duty to provide our readers information about such events.

Our efforts, it appears, have been mostly well-received. But journalists are under the microscope more than ever during times of breaking news, and I have fielded complaints from readers and sources this semester about Post photographers being too steadfast; reporters pestering authorities to get the latest updates; and editors spreading misinformation on social media.

We do our best to eliminate those instances and strive to treat such situations — and those affected by them — with the professionalism and respect they deserve. I was particularly proud of how Post staffers conducted themselves while reporting on the Uptown fire.

I was also deeply moved by many of the stories they have told this week. I hope many of you were too.

As always, thanks for reading.

Jim Ryan is a senior studying journalism and political science and editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to sound off on this issue? Contact him at or on Twitter at @Jimryan015

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