Editor's Notes at EditorsNotes.com

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Changes Coming to WaPo?

WaPo Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. approached the keyboard today in Ask the Post. Asked about the importance of network news anchors, Downie said, "[N]one of the potential successors to Brokaw, Rather and Jennings have anything like their breadth and depth of reporting experience before they became anchors, so I do not expect expect any of the successors to have the same influence." Also, Downie was quizzed on his earlier statement, "We are not judging the credibility of Kerry or the (Swift Boat) Veterans, we just print the facts." He elaborated, "There is a difference between judging and giving readers all the facts. We have thoroughly investigated and analyzed the claims on both sides and presented them to our readers in very lengthy, detailed stories [...] and then let our readers do the judging." I wonder what CJR's Campaign Desk would think of that?

Downie also hinted at changes coming to the paper:

Kingstowne, Va.: What is your reaction to the report in the alternative weekly that The Post's focus groups revealed a lack of enthusiasm for paying for the dead-tree version of the paper?

Leonard Downie Jr.: While we understand that many people now read news online, and we welcome all who read washingtonpost.com, we are also working on making the ink-on-paper newspaper more attractive and accessible to as many readers as possible.


Arlington, Va.: How do you plan to stem the decline in circulation, which seems even worse given our region's massive population growth?

Leonard Downie Jr.: We are continuing to expand our local news coverage. We are working on ways to make the paper more physically attractive and easier to navigate through each day. And we are increasing our coverage, particularly on the front page, of subjects that matter most to our readers in their daily lives, including health, pop culture, education, entertainment, technology, etc.