Civics: legacy media update – Bezos Washington Post edition

Joe Gabriel Simonson

Whenever I read stories about journalists attacking their new bosses, who point out that no one reads their work and the publication is losing money, I’m reminded of a meeting I sat in as an intern for a major publisher.

Christopher Rufo:

We will see if losing half your audience and $77 million a year gives executives enough incentive to finally say “no” to Longhouse-style hysteria, hypochondria, and manipulation.

Charlotte Klein;

“We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore,” Lewis said. “So I’ve had to take decisive, urgent action to set us on a different path, sourcing talent that I have worked with that are the best of the best.”

“Don’t we need our brilliant social journalists and service journalists as embedded in our core product to make sure that people are actually reading the thing that’s out at the center of the mission of the Washington Post?” one staffer asked, to which Lewis replied, “You haven’t done it. I’ve listened to the platitudes. Honestly, it’s just not happening.”

“The fact that Will Lewis keeps going to his network rather than plucking Washington Postleadership implies that he finds everyone lacking, and I think that’s kind of the most disturbing thing,” a second staffer told me.


Peachy Keenan:

Hilarious NPR report on swing voter focus groups. All the voters say the economy is terrible, they can’t afford food or medicine, and that Trump will be better on the economy. In the follow up, the reported tells Steve Inskeep that people are desperate and are talking like it’s 1934. Inskeep says “I know we have to listen to these people, but how much of their feelings about the economy is due to them being deceived by misinformation?”

Ann Althouse:

You haven’t done it…. you don’t “get it”… Lewis had to take control, because “the game” was up. What does “it” mean? What was “the game”? Maybe you had to be there to understand. Maybe “it” just means: We’re a business and we need readers, readers who will pay. But what was “the game”? The “game” of doing journalism without paying attention to the numbers? Or was it a “game” of putting DEI concerns ahead of the numbers?