Why did the Washington Post decide to be the Darkness?
Well, most of the media decided it last year during Hillary's campaign. They decided that any statement made by Trump was to be interpreted in the most leaden, literal, threatening way possible, because real politicians don't understand normal conversation and the people who report on politics don't either. They decided that any position adopted by anyone, anywhere, that could be construed as similar to a position held by Trump was the official stance of his campaign, unless it was explicitly "disavowed", which allowed reporters not to interview Trump supporters, but conduct google searches for positions they wanted to criticize and then attribute to Trump. They attributed every disreputable motive they could think of to Trump, and explicitly made predictions based on that attribution, rather than finding out if it was true.
Basically, they lied. They were the Darkness. They wanted to be the Darkness. They wanted to kill democracy by hijacking the election, and when it didn't work, they doubled down on the actions they had taken before, because it just had to work.
What do young reporters need to do? It's not that hard, but it takes time. They have to quit assuming they know things that they don't.
The fundamental problem is that they do not know what a lie is. No wonder they're frustrated. They need to spend a little time with people and learn the difference between goals, aspirations, tactics, poems, jokes, and statements of fact. It should take them approximately one year of conversing, daily, about everyday topics with people they don't know to get them there. At that point, they will be prepared to discuss motivations, and how we infer them, and when we're most likely to be wrong. That's five years from now they'll finish if they work diligently to make up for their lack of education to the present. They shouldn't feel bad about it. There are a lot of people in the same boat.