Commentary

'The Washington Post' Adds 10 Investigative Journalists

The Washington Postplans to add 10 newsroom employees in what the newspaper calls a “major expansion of its investigative journalism.”

WaPo’s investigative unit will add five staffers, including a reporter and additional editor for fast-turnaround work, a reporter to pursue longer-term projects, a researcher and a FOIA specialist. Those hires follow the addition of a data reporting specialist to the team.

In January 2017, the newspaper doubled the size of the unit when it created an eight-person “rapid-response” team to collaborate with all newsroom departments. The team contributed to its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, according to a blog post.

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The paper also will add investigative journalists to its sports, climate and environment, and foreign coverage. The foreign reporter likely will be based in Europe.

WaPo’s announced expansion comes a month after The New York Times announced the creation of a new Metro investigative unit at the newspaper to expand local coverage.

It’s heartening to see more newsroom hiring after years of nonstop downsizing that has diminished the press’s role as democracy’s watchdog.

President Donald Trump has made both newspapers – and the Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos, the founder of ecommerce giant Amazon – the target of repeated attacks in response to its coverage of his administration.

Those attacks reached fever pitch last weekend when the president accused the Times of committing “a virtual act of treason” for publishing an article about the American escalation of online attacks on Russia’s power grid.

Those heightened attacks on the media have created some strange bedfellows among rival news organizations, such as the Times and The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

On June 20, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, publisher of the Times, responded to the president’s attacks in an editorial printed by the WSJ.

“The president’s rhetorical attacks continue to foster a climate in which trust in journalists is eroding and violence against them is growing,” Sulzberger wrote. “Mr. Trump’s campaign against journalists should concern every patriotic American.”

Correction: In yesterday's Publishing Insider, the story concerned Forbes Media's owners considering a sale of the company -- Forbes Media's Investors Explore Sale Of Magazine, Websites. The column stated a company spokesperson didn't deny the report, which was actually a reference to a report by the New York Post, which first reported the news. It was not based on original reporting. In addition to denying the report, a Forbes Media spokesperson said the company's owners "have always maintained from the beginning that they are looking to bring on additional investors who can add value."

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