N.Y. Times reporter Michael Cieply has broken the news that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ documentary branch members are basically looking to cut down the number of films they’ll have to watch in a given year, and so they’re about to announce a rule that a doc has to be reviewed by The New York Times or The Los Angeles Times to qualify for a Best Feature-Length Doc Oscar.

When the new rule goes into effect the non-theatrical riff-raff can be ignored like Semper Fi and the doc committee guys won’t have to watch as many films. Which indirectly means they’ll have more time to play tennis and eat long brunches and take walks with their wives and/or girlfriends and get to hang with their grandchildren in a more leisurely, open-ended way.

Ric Robertson, the Academy’s chief operating officer, confirmed to Cieply that the new rule “would be made public this week and would apply to films qualifying for the 2013 ceremony.”