The Lore Of The Shack, NYC’s Police Press Room


The New York Police Department is exploring where to move the reporters who cover it from a cramped area in headquarters called “the shack,” perhaps to a conference room, says the New York Times. The announcement of the move troubled several generations of police reporters and their advocates. “Reporters who cover that beat on a daily basis provide an institutional history that can be lost [],” said David Krajicek, a vice president of Criminal Justice Journalists who worked in the shack for the New York Daily News. “If you're there every day, you're keeping an eye on the institution. Proximity does not necessarily translate to access, but it does translate to focus.”

Mike Bosak, a retired sergeant and unofficial historian of the New York Police Department, said the press corps has been living cheek-by-jowl with its subject since 1863, when reporters had offices in the basement of the new headquarters on Mulberry Street. These days, the reporters sometmes use a pack approach to get information from the police press office. It's an 11-story ride to the press office on the 13th floor; reporters prefer to take the trip together, partly because they believe there is strength in numbers, partly because they believe it never hurts to keep an eye on the other guy.

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