NEW YORK — The Washington Post’s new publisher is facing questions about whether it has tried to hide — at its own paper and elsewhere — since working for Rupert Murdoch a decade ago.

The story of the week, which began with Sudden departure The Sunday Night Post’s executive editor offers a window into the differences between approaches to journalism in Britain and the United States – and touches on critical issues of trust in the American media community as it prepares for a controversial and seismic presidential election. is near

Publisher and CEO Will Lewis has denied any wrongdoing at UK and the Post.

Lewis, the former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, arrived in January to turn around the Post, which was mired in red ink and saw its digital readership cut in half by 2020. Lewis is also vice chairman of the board of the Associated Press. of Directors.

He declared. Reorganization plan Sunday that did not include the top news executive, Sally Busby, who was apparently either forced out or chose not to accept a demotion. Buzby, a former AP top news executive, led the Post newsroom for three years. He made no mention of his departure.

This week, The New York Times Lewis reported. In a phone conversation last month, he told Buzbee that progress in Prince Harry’s lawsuit over the phone-hacking scandal did not warrant coverage in the Post.

They Extensive case Includes the alleged interception of voicemails of celebrities and members of the royal family by Murdoch-owned newspapers in the UK. Plaintiffs in the civil suit allege that Lewis engaged in efforts to minimize suffering, by destroying evidence. Lewis denies this.

The Times said that Lewis told Buzby that the decision to run the story, which was eventually published, would be flawed. The Post said Friday that that account was false and that Lewis did not pressure Buzby not to publish a story. “To suggest otherwise is patently false,” the newspaper said in a statement.

Buzby did not respond to a message from the AP on Friday requesting comment on its characterization of the conversation.

In mainstream American journalism, it is generally considered an ethical violation for a publisher to be involved in these kinds of news decisions, especially one that involves them.

Later Thursday, National Public Radio media reporter David Faukenflick wrote That Lewis, before taking the post, “repeatedly and warmly” offered an exclusive interview to NPR about his plans — in exchange for Folkenflik dropping a story that implicated the executive in the phone-hacking case. was writing about being

Folkenflik refused, and Story Run on 20 December 2023.

When asked about it, Lewis described Fokkenflik as an activist rather than a journalist, telling the Post: “I had an off-the-record conversation with him before I joined the Post and six months later he fired him. Dusted off, and made something. An excuse to make a non-story.”

Folkenflik said the offer, later confirmed by a press representative, was not off the record.

“Certainly journalists at The New York Times, CNN and within his own newsroom have concluded that what I reported about him this week and before was newsworthy,” he said Friday. said to “I think it’s a judgment of our carefully reported journalism. He can say what he wants, but that doesn’t end it.”

In an email to staff members Friday, Lewis acknowledged they need to improve how they listen and communicate. He invited them for next week’s talks on his restructuring plan.

“I know the past marks and the back and forth from this week have eroded confidence,” Lewis wrote. “Let’s leave these people behind and start assessing the best intentions. If we do, you’ll see where we’re going in a different light. We don’t have to agree on everything but We are all dedicated to building The Post’s future and mapping our path there together.

In his post comments, Lewis said he decided early on not to talk about his job loss as a result of the phone-hacking scandal. “And is it right or wrong that I have done it,” he said.

Lewis grew up as a journalist in Britain, which has a more bare-bones style of reporting. One of the editors he hired to restructure the Post, Robert Winnett, had worked with Lewis at the Daily Telegraph. One of his biggest stories, about false expense accounts by Members of Parliament, was based on records the newspaper allegedly paid for.

While some Post journalists have expressed questions and concerns about the restructuring plan that Lewis is pursuing, they have stressed the need for decisive, immediate action. He told staff at one of his weekly meetings that he couldn’t sugarcoat that “people aren’t reading your stuff.”

The uproar over one of the nation’s most important outlets for political journalism comes at a critical time, a month before Republicans are set to nominate Donald Trump for president and the campaign against incumbent Joe Biden in full swing. Starting from


Associated Press correspondent Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.


David Bowder writes about the media for the Associated Press. But follow it.

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