Slow news day? Why go with filler like a photo of kids playing in a fountain or whatever when you can bring something like this to your readers?
I cut this out of the London Free Press when I was still in high school because I was utterly confounded (and amused) by the series of decisions that must have occurred in order for me to see it. Think about it. Presumably it was taken by a photographer for a Baton Rogue newspaper. But did the reporter just stumble across it, or did someone call this scoop in? Either way, the reporter deemed it newsworthy and their editor agreed. They even called the local transportation department for a quote, and the official was either expecting the call and had a response ready, or s/he got in touch with the driver and called them back. Journalism!
Then it was submitted to Associated Press and at least one editor in London, Ontario decided to run with it, complete with smart-alecky headline. I don’t know a whole lot about the newspaper biz, but odds are more than one person had to sign off on this, which means multiple people looked at this photo and thought ”Yes. Printing this is a good idea.”
Anyway, raccoons are just large rats but nobody deserves to go out in such an undignified manner. RIP, poor raccoon.