If I can truly ask you anything, What is it like with Bezos owning the Washington Post? Did you work there before he bought the company? Have there been any big shifts on how the company approaches the business side of the company? (The journalism has always been top notch)
It feels like you all have more of an approachable presence through your outreach on Reddit. Is personal connection with community a business objective to try and foster relationships between incredibly high quality journalism and us laymen?
This is Gene, the regular WaPo user, not Josh, but I can answer this.
For some great insight into how Jeff has changed The Washington Post, I'd point you to this NPR piece from last summer that sums things up quite nicely.
Prior to Bezos, the Post's technology operation consisted mostly of a help desk, fixing computers and software-bug patches and such. After Bezos, and at his urging, the Post made a critical decision: to build its own software.
"Pretty much every tool that the newsroom uses, or the sales team uses, has been built in-house," Prakash says.
It nearly doubled its IT division to 250 people, Prakash says, recruiting high-quality talent by selling them on a startup-like environment and a creative mission to save journalism.
Creating its own technology, in turn, gave the Post more control over things like load speeds and reliability, as well as deep visibility into its users — which stories they read, how far they scrolled, which headlines drew more traffic, and whether each reader has a preference for videos or photo presentations. That information could be fed back to the newsroom in real time, enabling them to, for example, beta-test headlines and optimize photos suited to different models of phones.
As for your last question: Fostering a strong relationship between our readers and our journalism/journalists IS the objective, you nailed it! It's important more than ever these days for news organizations to have a strong connection with its audience, especially when the general concerns about media trust continues to linger.
Me individually and personally, as a journalist, I enjoy having a strong connection to readers. It's fun for me. It's important that people get to know us as reporters working hard to get info out to you.
No question today.
I just wanted to say I finally got off my ass and got a PAID subscription this morning in order to support the WP's excellent reporting. If our country gets through this, it will be in no small part because of a free press and devoted reporters like yourself.