Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 7

7 In nominating the entry, editor Baron wrote that “Post reporters produced more than a dozen deeply reported stories that defied conventional wisdom about police shootings,” adding that “police experts praised the Post’s coverage.” (As president of the Dow Jones News Fund, publisher of this magazine, I’m proud to note that Wesley Lowery, the Post staff writer who urged editors to build the database and analyze the statistical information, was a News Fund intern in 2010 and 2011.) The Post’s latest Pulitzer came about half a year later after a highly publicized achievement online. Last October, the Post’s website attracted almost 67 million unique visitors, topping the New York Times, according to comScore, a by-product of the Post’s increasing emphasis on digital publishing in the new Bezos era. The Post’s renaissance was also illustrated in mid-May when Donald Trump accused the paper, which he said was purchased as a “toy” by Bezos, of being used to protect Amazon’s tax practices after Post reporters began investigating Trump’s business career. Baron denied that the Amazon CEO was involved in the coverage of the presidential campaign. Responding, Bezos asserted that Trump’s criticism was not “an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.” “In its revamp, the Post is following some of Amazon’s tactics,” the insightful Economist newspaper has observed. “Much as Mr. Bezos has made his e-commerce firm concentrate on building scale first, and worrying about profits later, he is making his newspaper concentrate first on building a broader national and international audience….It is promoting its journalism more assiduously on social networks, is offering readers curated content from elsewhere on the Internet, and is making its web pages load faster.” Although he has spent his professional life on Martin Baron print newspapers— including the Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Boston Globe—Baron has been an enthusiastic partner in this transformation of the Post. In an extensive interview on C-SPAN, Baron said: “The strategy in the previous era was articulated as for and about Washington…. Now, under Jeff Bezos, our strategy is to become a true national news organization, and then maybe even international over time. And so that’s a significant change. We do that because we now live in a digital era and we have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves… and to reach many more people, millions of people, we haven’t been able to reach before. “We don’t have to deliver a newspaper to their doorstep. We don’t have to print a newspaper piggy-backing on presses of other newspapers around the country. They can read us on our website, they can read us through Facebook, they can read us…via Twitter.” Yet while ensuring that the Post becomes “a truly digital news organization,” Baron said he wants “to make sure that we continue to be a news organization that does really important and ambitious work. That we take on difficult stories. That we hold powerful institutions and powerful individuals accountable.” In short, he concluded, “I want us to be journalistically ambitious and digitally innovative.” An eminently sound approach with one of the world’s savviest and wealthiest executives behind you.