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​Can the Washington Post’s remarkable turnaround be sustained?




The Washington Post newsroom is seen following the inauguration of its headquarters on January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.
The Washington Post newsroom is seen following the inauguration of its headquarters on January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

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The Washington Post has had its fair share of layoffs and buyouts, just as a number of print newspapers have.

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos purchased the newspaper in 2013 for $250 million, the newsroom was initially skeptical about the changes that might follow.

In the past three years, Bezos turned the paper into somewhat of a technology company, where he has the freedom to innovate and take more risks.

In addition to being the only major newspaper to publish all of it’s content directly onto Facebook, a move others have avoided fearing it might disincentivize people from purchasing a digital subscription, the newsroom has also grown by 140 journalists.

“[Jeff] constantly tells us, ‘Don’t focus on the competition, focus on the reader,’ ” Shailesh Prakash, the Post’s chief technology officer, said to New York Magazine.

So what’s behind the Post’s turnaround? Is it an owner with billions of dollars or the ability to adapt technologically?

Guests:

Ken Doctor, media analyst for newsonomics.com and the author of “Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000)

Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University



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