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Vanity Fair: Has the Washington Post Lost Its Way?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by lcjjdnh, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Member

    Article they've been promoting finally out. Sarah Ellison focuses much on the tension between the business side's local focus and the news side's national ambitions.


  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Remember a few years ago when everyone in the media had to pretend like Katharine Weymouth wasn't in over her head and got the job for reasons other than being Kay Graham's favorite granddaughter?

    Glad those days are gone.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    A very fair piece. But the most stunning thing I took away was if Don Graham wasn't such a nice guy and had leaned on Zuckerberg to honor their verbal agreement, the Wash Post Corp would own 10 percent of Facebook right now and be $7 billion richer. Yowza.
  4. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    Charlie Pierce in the Esquire politics blog makes it a point to always refer to the Washington Post as "a once-great newspaper now d/b/a an unprofitable subsidiary of the educational-testing industry."
  5. geddymurphy

    geddymurphy Member

    One major problem for the Post: They have a giant technology and business hub just across the river, and they have no clue how to cover it. They hire a bunch of people -- particularly young kids on the Metro desk -- who think everything south and west of the Potomac, from Arlington, Va., to Arlington, Texas, is a giant anthropology experiment.

    Fairfax and Loudoun County are swimming in money, and the closest thing they have to a daily paper is Patch.
  6. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, the Metro section has gotten really slim over the years. They have one columnist who I'm convinced will write a column confirming grass is green when grown properly.

    And the Style section? Holy shit.
  7. Hoos3725

    Hoos3725 Member

    I don't understand all this ragging on the Washington Post. Compared to almost every newspaper in America, they're still doing a very good job. How many newspapers have declined less than the Washington Post? The NYT. The WSJ. How many others? The list isn't long.
  8. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Perhaps not to the same extent, in terms of affluence, but the same is true in the Maryland suburbs. The only dailies are in Annapolis and Frederick. It's bizarre in that region, that there are those huge, largely wealthy suburban counties with no daily papers. I have lived and worked in much smaller areas that were loaded with small dailies.
  9. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is much difference between what the WP is going through and what all papers are going through.
    You figure people worked their way up through the ranks to get to the WP and are disappointed that it isn't what it was when they got into the field. Guess what? No paper is what it once was.
    The regional giant is now just a major metro. The major metro is just a daily paper. The daily is now a thrice-weekly. The thrice-weekly is now a glorified shopper.
    In some ways the WP and the NYT are luckier than most - their audience (pols and media types) still READ the actual paper. (It makes for a better prop than to hold up an iPad).
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  10. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Stick to what you know best - journalism, news, in the revenue-producing print edition - and quit trying to do too much with overworked, depleted staffs.

    Or spread yourself too thin with younger, sometimes unmotivated staffs managed by people who may not know much more about the industry than the latest iWhatever.

    Is your reporter best served spending time doing a podcast or talking with a source and developing something substantial?

    Charles Pierce is right.
  11. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    Vanity Fair is the perfect showcase for this article. Condé Nast has absolutely thrived during this recession.
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Dan, the picture you posted gets to the Post's big problem. It's edited on the principle that the only readers it has who matter to it are Congress, its staff, the President and his staff and maybe Cabinet secretaries and Supreme Court justices. That's not very many readers in a metro region of three million-plus. It said it wanted to be Washington's paper, and then defined Washington as "the U.S. political class."
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