Ezra Klein Leaves Washington Post for Vox Media
January 27, 2014
January 27, 2014
Ezra Klein recently made the official announcement, after much speculation, that he’d be leaving the Washington Post to join Vox Media. Klein’s announcement was met with questions like, “what does the future hold for ‘traditional’ media?” “what was the Post thinking?” and “wait, what is Vox?”
Klein’s goal is for his new site to be “incredibly good at policy and politics but also sports and science.” He won’t simply be taking Wonkblog to Vox, but wants to redesign the way news is delivered online. He says that online today “there’s space to tell people both what happened today and what happened that led to today. But the software newsrooms have adopted in the digital age has too often reinforced a workflow built around the old medium. We’ve made the news faster, more beautiful, and more accessible. But in doing we’ve carried the constraints of an old technology over to a new one.”
He took this concept to the Post, but ironically, the (arguably) King of the Internet, new Post owner, Jeff Bezos turned him down, leading New York Times’ media columnist David Carr to question Bezos’ decision to let him go. “[Klein’s] change of address could be read as the latest parable of Old Media cluelessness — allowing a journalism asset to escape who will come back to haunt them — or as another instance of a star journalist cashing in on name-brand success.”
Carr continues, “In making the switch, Mr. Klein is part of a movement of big-name journalists who are migrating from newspaper companies to digital start-ups. Walter Mossberg and Kara Swisher left Dow Jones to form Re/code with NBC. David Pogue left The New York Times for Yahoo and Nate Silver for ESPN. At the same time, independent news sites like Business Insider, BuzzFeed and Vox have all received abundant new funding, while traffic on viral sites like Upworthy and ViralNova has exploded.”
So, what does Klein’s move mean for the future of ‘traditional’ media? Newspapers have been struggling to stay relevant, taking all of their content, plus more, online as they lose print subscribers. But can they compete with all-inclusive sites like BuzzFeed and HyperVocal and now Vox? Maybe not as more people look for all their content, from breaking news to sports to cat videos and gifs from the Grammys in one place. Now, as sites like BuzzFeed and Grantland are publishing more serious, “long-form” pieces and scoring big interviews, the newspaper website may go the way of the newspaper.