Two consecutive headlines in Nieman Lab’s daily newsletter Tuesday drove home the growing gap between The New York Times and The Washington Post. The first: “The Washington Post is reducing its workforce by 240 positions.” The second: “The New York Times opinion section has tripled its size since 2017.”
I’ve written about this before, including a suggestion I made last year that the Post should reconnect with local news. As someone who covered the early years of the Post’s revival under Jeff Bezos, I find the current situation sad. Both the Post and the Times flourished during the Trump presidency, but the Times has continued to soar in the post-Trump years (yes, I know we’re not really in the post-Trump years) while the Post has sputtered, losing money and circulation.
We need two great general-interest national newspapers. If the Post is going to get back in the race, it needs to find a way to differentiate itself from the Times. For a few years, the Post difference was a tougher, more truth-telling brand of political coverage, but these days both papers seem pretty much the same. I don’t blame Sally Buzbee, who succeeded the legendary Marty Baron as executive editor. The vision — and the resources — have to come from the very top.
- The Washington Post to cut 240 jobs (New York Times)
- New York Times opinion editor: ‘I don’t have pressure around metrics in any way’ (Press Gazette)