What journalists wore for Halloween: Fake news, apps and the death of print

October 31, 2017

Journalists seem to have a knack for describing a moment in pop culture with a pithy headline, a well-turned phrase or a spot-on Twitter post.

And at Halloween, it's no different. At Poynter, we were tossing around our own versions of what we could dress up as. Here are a few that popped up in our Slack channel:

Scary journalism-related Halloween costume: an off-topic pitch

Cute journalism-related Halloween costume: a Chartbeat spike

Scary journalism-related Halloween costume: a dead phone battery

Cute journalism-related Halloween costume: free newsroom pizza

Scary journalism-related Halloween costume: 10 percent layoffs (just hide your arm in your sleeve)

Cute journalism-related Halloween costume: an unredacted affidavit

But not surprisingly, when we asked some of our Poynter followers on Twitter what they were wearing, the catchphrase of the year, which just happens to be journalism-related, has turned out to be the costume of choice for newsrooms celebrating Halloween.

From the classic Groucho Marx disguise (courtesy of Nicholas Friedman from the Dallas Morning News)…

…to a no-frills statement T-shirt (from Robyn Tomlin, also of the Dallas Morning News. Props to the great Dustin from Stranger Things here, too.)…

…fake news is all over newsrooms this year (but maybe we already knew that). But that's not all. 

Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald went with a similar theme as "enemy of the people."

Staffers at the Tribune newspaper in San Luis Obispo, California, got crafty with newsprint (and dusted off the timeless Ron Burgundy getup).

The advertising team at the Post-Star in Glens Falls, New York, went the opposite way, dressing up as some of the most popular apps.

Luke Morris, another Dallas Morning Newser, wore the most timely costume of all, taking the Athletic founder Alex Mather's threat to let local sports sections "continuously bleed" quite literally.

In the end, it's tough to beat the classics. Jeff Schmucker of the Toledo Blade is a convincing Clark Kent, who never seems to be around when it really starts to hit the fan.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Got a costume you're proud of? Let us know.

Update: Much like Poynter, where community manager Shanna DiNobile and I were among the few who dressed up, Daniel Figueroa IV of the Plant City Observer was the lone Halloween celebrator in his newsroom. At least he did it in style.

At the Tylt, Advance Digital's vote-it-out news site, pop culture costumes old and new are trendy.

Marvel's Black Widow, Miami Herald journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Clark Kent/Superman, blue hair (help me out here, guys) and a jumping bunny showed up for work at WLRN in South Florida.

Here's another picture of our Dallas Morning News friends, featuring NBC's Superstore, our friend Clark, singer Selena (thanks, Laura L. Davis) and Dustin from Stranger things.

Christopher Cheung of Vancouver dressed up as a scary rezoning application to honor his beat.

Want us to share your costume? Keep them coming on this thread.

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