I found the word ‘Shoe-leather journalism’ in the following lead copy of the New York Times article (July 28) titled ‘In baring facts of train crash, bogs erode China censorship.’
“China’s Twitter-like microblogs posted an astounding 26 million messages on the crash, a potent amalgam of contempt, suspicion and shoe-leather journalism.”
Merriam-Webster com.dictionary gives the definition of ‘shoe-leather’ as ‘involving or using basic, direct, or old-fashioned methods', and shows shoe–leather journalism as an example without any explanation.
Does ‘Shoe-leather journalism’ mean old-fashioned journalism or stereotype reporting style? Does it have something to do with a country’s governing system? What is the origin of ‘Shoe-leather journalism’?