The PJ Tatler

It's the coverage, stupid

Andrew Alexander is apparently stepping down from his post as the Washington Post’s ombudsman. Whether he’s leaving the WaPo entirely or simply being reassigned is unclear. However in his final column as ombudsman he makes an interesting point which he himself apparently doesn’t get:

For so many, The Post has a reputation for journalistic excellence. Will it endure?
I’ve pondered that question while crafting this column, my last as ombudsman. So, too, have many of the tens of thousands who e-mailed or called during my two-year term as the readers’ representative. A dominant theme has been that The Post’s journalistic quality has declined. It’s a view I share.

He notes the WaPo is struggling to save a dying print product while ramping up its digital product. He then talks about the journalistic lapses in the paper’s coverage.

That’s it in a nutshell, journalistic lapses. I’ve said for years the way to save newspapers is to do a better job of coverage. Quit down-sizing newsroom personnel and shrinking coverage and start getting rid of middle managers. Expand coverage and do a good job of it. No one in the industry seems to get that, and the papers are dying. *clink, clink* my two cents for the day.