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How reporters got the Pope’s telegram to Trump wrong

ROME- Reporting the news is a tough gig. No one goes into this line of work believing it’ll be a 9-5 job, with weekends off and vacations at sunny places with luxury hotels selling colorful drinks.

(Okay, maybe reporters do expect colorful drinks once in a while, but that’s about it.)

Even when you’re on the Catholic beat, the news is a 24/7 beast, particularly in the Pope Francis era. The need to be fast, to respond to the unpredictable, to report on the go or after postponing a Friday night out with friends because the pope sent a telegram to the new President of the United States, are chronic professional hazards.

Every reporter has a personal list of pieces we’d like to have back, but none of this is an excuse for sloppy journalism. As the late United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.”

Last Friday brought a perfect example of how things can sometimes go wrong.

In the United States and beyond, the eyes of every journalist were on Washington, D.C., with even entertainment reporters focused on the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

As the presidential parade was headed to the White House, around 6 p.m. Rome time, journalists accredited to the Vatican received an email with a papal telegram to Trump marking the occasion. (Yes, the Vatican still uses the term “telegram,” even if no telegraph was actually involved.)

Read more at Crux.

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