"Merchants of Truth:" Author Jill Abramson on the Perils and Politics of the News Business | WYPR

"Merchants of Truth:" Author Jill Abramson on the Perils and Politics of the News Business

Mar 4, 2019

Jill Abramson, author of MERCHANTS OF TRUTH
Credit Photograph by Simon Leigh

Today on Midday, a conversation with a veteran journalist about the intersection of journalism and business; the changing nature of how and from whom we get our news, and who pays for it; and the growing political assaults on truth and the news media.   

Jill Abramson began her career as a reporter in the early 1970s, during the Watergate Era.  She spent almost a decade at the Wall Street Journal, and she was the first woman to be appointed the Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Times, where she rose to become the Gray Lady’s Executive Editor.  In 2014, after three years in that position, the Times fired her in favor of the current executive editor, Dean Baquet.  Abramson is currently a columnist for the online The Guardian US, and a visiting lecturer in the English Department at Harvard University.

Credit Cover art courtesy Simon and Schuster Publishers

She has written a compelling book about the current state of journalism and the business of journalism. She shines a spotlight on four major news enterprises -- the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed and ViceMedia -- and examines the tension between their aspirations to publish accurate, thorough stories about the important issues of the day, and their need to make enough profit from publishing those stories to sustain diverse, multi-media newsrooms -- and satisfy the corporate entities that own those newsrooms.

The book is called Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts.  Jill Abramson joins us from the studios of WGBH in Boston…