NY Tabloid Wars Spread To Mali

The city's tabloid war spilled over into Mali today, as the Post's Lukas I.Alpert hit the Bronx fire funeral beat four days after the Daily News' Adam Lisberg's first African dateline. The News got the jump on its rival because Lisberg already had a visa to the country from an African vacation three months ago.

"You're talking about the worst residential fire in the city in more than 25 years," Daily News metro editor Dean Chang said. “We decided that morning, the morning of the fire, to send a reporter to Africa. Less that 24 hours after the story broke, we were in the air."

Lisberg arrived in Mali on Friday, March 15, and filed his first story the next day from Gogui, the dusty Saharan home village of Moussa Magassa, father of five of the children who died in the blaze. The News had to remove its exclusive tag today, when Lisberg and Alpert both had stories filed from Bamako about bereaved father Mamadou Soumare's struggles to return to his homeland to bury his family. The Post did not return calls for comment.

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