Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What went wrong at The Washington Post

Now that Jeff Bezos is to buy The Washington Post, people are talking about the failure of The Post's business model, from content delivery to left-wing bias on its opinion pages to right-wing bias on its opinion pages to parochialism. I believe that such criticisms miss the point.

When I read or watch news reporting, I want the confidence that I have learned enough about the subject to form an informed opinion. I often do not get that confidence from The Washington Post because too often, either bias or sloppiness becomes evident. When an article is an opinion column thinly disguised as news reporting, when it gives undue weight to one side or just shills for one side, when it presents questionable assumptions as unquestionable truths, or when it simply contains obvious errors of fact, I look elsewhere for information. I am less concerned with bias on the opinion pages, which are, after all, opinion pages.

1 comment:

Ray E. said...

Absolutely. Have been getting the Post on DT delivered since college in the early 1970's, and concur on your assessment of opinion contaminating the news. The commentary I've read that intrigues me, is the Bezos business model of customer service, and the anticipated re-emphasis on reader satisfaction. The Columbia J-School 'nul graf' stuff does not seem to fit. Virginia Postrel had a good article about in Bloomberg: