Can The Washington Post De-Snark the News?

In May, Sally Buzbee became the first woman to be hired for one of the most coveted jobs in journalism: executive editor of The Washington Post. Since then, Buzbee has overseen ambitious digital investigations into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and how countries’ climate pledges are based on flawed information. But she’s also had to tackle the bigger challenges that come with running a newspaper today: a turbulent media landscape shaped by political polarization, social media and the spread of misinformation. Buzbee and The Washington Post have already had to address some of these issues: The paper issued corrections last week to a handful of Steele dossier articles they published in the past few years. The paper has been sued by the reporter Felicia Sonmez, who has alleged unfair treatment by editors.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Buzbee on her agenda for The Washington Post. “I don’t want to give up on any reader,” she says. “Certainly there are people who are not going to trust the Washington Post, but I don’t think we want to give up on big swaths of the world.” They also discuss whether it’s possible for the Bezos-owned publication to cover Amazon independently and how newsrooms can rebuild trust with communities that believe they’re biased.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Can The Washington Post De-Snark the News? 1
Celeste Sloman for the Washington Post

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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe, Elisa Gutierrez and Wyatt Orme, and edited by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick and Alison Bruzek; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Mahima Chablani.