Irvine’s Ezra Klein may soon leave the Washington Post because of the paper’s lack of interest in developing a new website that would focus on much needed explanatory journalism according to the New York Times. Klein would be another high profile star leaving the media home where he made his mark. Nate Silver left the New York Times last year for ESPN and tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg left AllThingsDigital and the Wall Street Journal for a new gig backed by NBC Universal.
Klein’s idea has particular merit and with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the new Washington Post owner, we’d think Klein’s approach to explaining complex subject matter in simple terms and in great detail would be something the journalism industry sorely needs.
From the Media Bistro piece on the move: “Klein, who quickly ascended into the ranks of the Washington
media establishment with a multiplatform blend of policy nuance and number-crunching on Wonkblog, approached Katharine Weymouth, the Post‘s publisher, in recent weeks, the people said. After consultation with the newspaper’s editor, Marty Baron, according to one of the people, he put forward a proposal with detailed revenue projections to build a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy. It would have been affiliated with the Post, the person said, but would have been a separate enterprise. The investment he sought, the person said, was in eight figures.”
Klein’s proposed site would give fact-based liberals more ammunition to counter right wing media other than FactCheck.org and PolitiFact. Since President Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” was PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” for 2013, my conservative friends have been filling my inbox and Facebook wall with links. I’m actually delighted they do so since it lends non-partisan credibility to the site which typically has a 9-1 ratio of “Pants on Fire” lies attributed to Republicans over Democrats.
Klein’s idea is a remarkable one and a site we hope some media baron finds worthy of an 8 figure investment. He is in discussions with potential investors, so a launch of this site prior to the 2014 midterms would be welcome.