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Snoozing reporter laughs off ‘lazy journalist’ jibes

A local journalist who was sent a photograph of himself taking a nap on a train has laughed off claims he was “sleeping on the job.”

Darren Burke, of the Doncaster Free Press, received an email from a reader headed “lazy journalist” with a picture attached of him snoozing.

The reader, who called himself ‘Donny Spy’ cited the picture as ‘proof’ that Darren and his colleagues are “lazy cut and paste journalists.”

But Darren made light of the jibes in a piece about the incident in his regular Don Your Way column.


Sleeping on the job – the picture of Darren snapped by Free Press reader ‘Donny Spy’

Wrote Darren: “The other day, I had a rather rude awakening (quite literally) when an email dropped into my inbox.

“Its heading was ‘lazy journalist’ and here, dear reader, I present to you its contents, as written exactly from its sender, who goes under the name ‘Donny Spy.’

“I always knew you lot were lazy cut and paste jounalists (sic) who just go round stealing news off facebook and stealing a living with the LIES you put out there,” my fan wrote.

“Well how does it feel that you have been caught and i have PROOF of how lazy you lot are.  Donny Spy is watching you and I saw you sleeping on the job today. Ha ha ha ha.”

“I scrolled down and realised there was an attachment on the email. It was a photo of my good self taking a brief nap on a train.

“Quite where, when and how it was taken and who by, I have no idea. All I can say with any certainty is that it was taken at the end of a tiring and busy working day.”

The picture was also copied to Darren’s editor and all his colleagues at South Yorkshire Newspapers.

Darren told HTFP: “You do expect some stick but social media has taken things to a new level. I might have to start sleeping with one eye open though!”


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  • January 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    This is very disturbing, perhaps the contempt (as seen by the attempt at humour from the poster above) towards journalists is making people more bold.

    They should pass this to the police. If I took a picture of a member of the public asleep and sent it to their work and all their colleagues I’d expect a knock from plod.

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  • January 16, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Lazy journalists do exist (as is constantly evident to long-suffering Bristol Post readers), and it is possible/commonplace to work on public transport nowadays – but it seems illogical to jeer at someone purporting neither to be on duty nor to be working on a specific item at the moment the picture was taken.

    Sleep is a physical/mental necessity and entitlement for most humans. Even if he had been in work mode at the time, the shuteye could have just been a brief nap or microsleep, and, if anything, a symptom of tiring, unlazy over-work,

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  • January 18, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    How ironic that Donny Spy, while having a pop at members of the industry for being lazy, didn’t bother proofreading their email to check they had spelt everything correctly.

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