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Read this: "There's no democracy without a strong, free press"

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"There's no democracy without a strong, …



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 in 2012 the Washington Post where's the world's most profitable local newspaper news new editor needed to make cuts within 8 years the paper become a global powerhouse with 10 more Pulitzer prizes under and over 100 million monthly websites use the paper had a new owner Jeff bezos.

The world's richest man and have one of America's most lauded editors at the helm Marty Baron Martin has already been editor of The Miami Herald and it's in his years at the Boston globe turn into an Oscar winning film in spotlight stepping down as editor of the Washington Post which two weeks ago Marty Baron

I know you very well, so let me just asked a couple of questions to get to know you a bit better when you was a big part of family life when you were growing up.

They wanted to know about this new country on about what was happening around the world so we had our local newspaper in for them every single day.

We had they watch the news regularly the national news and the local news on television and then we received Time Magazine every week, so we had a regular who's died in the household.

Where did your parents do for my father was an Explorer Florida citrus around the world and my mother is a homemaker stumble into journalism or did you sort of March to sign in?

And so became editor of my High School newspaper then when I got the college I became editor of The Old Mother came out of the college newspaper and then I went right into working in newspapers in 2002 years the paper 1 a Pulitzer Prize for exposing word for a child sexual abuse within the Catholic church in Spy in the film spotlight.

What was it that first convinced you there was a major story there in Boston I was obviously reading the stories.

I was coming from Miami which seemed to be a great source of story is there also should happen and I was going to be a little bit or a great news stories, but before I was to start.

Starting on Monday and it was written by Callum Macnamara and she talked about the case of the priest by the name of an accused of abusing as many as 80 kids and and she went on to talk about it then how the lawyer for the plaintiffs allege that the cardinal himself the cardinal in the archdiocese of Boston with aware of the abuse by this continually reassign them from Paris to Paris where he abused again again and church hierarchy setting the filter on that was on truths and at the end of the column.

She said the truth may never be known because the documents internal documents of the church that might reveal the true meaning of confidential and so I came in the next morning my first day.

My first meeting everybody talk about what they were doing it was at 10 meeting at time.

And arm and nobody mentioned the case and I was a little son because priests accused of abusing his many kids allegations with the car themselves despite that abused essential allowing him to abuse and so I asked I asked what we were doing and it was pointed out to me that the documents underseal I know because I've read that on the piste and I said I didn't know what we would most likely go out to those documents got a coach to try to get them.

They weren't public records of the church, but a case can be made that was in the public interest to those records to make them available to the public.

When you see that when any journalists that we should say that that's our job is to try to get out the truth, so that should be like a series like the water is in the the moment where people Chasing A story which is true dangerous for those the story of personal difficulties.

They have over the course of that story how much pressure did you personally come under and from home to drop that investigation of personal pressure? I knew that I think it was institutional.

We knew that the church was very most powerful institution in the window for a very long time the churches attacked by a previously for some of the stories including the stories on abuse the carnival in Salford called as you put it called down the power of garden of the Boston globe and in so and we knew that it could subject the

The Globe to accusations of anti-catholicism breasts or anything but a bit was we knew this was a story of great sensitivity and it made us actually gonna vote accusations of being anti-catholic is reputation risk pieces for several years after that initial investigation.

It was not enough to just documented many priests have been accused of abuse.

There was a Desire on the part of some our staff to publish at that point because we had indication of the 60s that used to abuse and we can document that stunning in itself but

We need to show more than that.

I think that we needed to show you know you need to find out what Whitchurch do wanted found out that these procedures not just the fact of the abuse, but what was the response to what extent of the church fulfill? It's obligations to the most of our and into the children who were in its care and so so we kept on that story and reporting as well as the court action that we said that we took that in fact the church was fully aware of this abuse and covered it up.

I continually reassign this please and release price of used repeatedly are so that's when we when we could show the cover up and cover up after decades of 50 decades.

Sorry for the 55 decades then and we are ready for college in 2013 UK medicine the Washington Post the favourite.

Of course it was there water investigations in the early 1970s that eventually brought down President Nixon the link for the very different President Donald Trump ended up providing you with enough storage for many a year in the paper and by the end of Trump's for your presidency the post and found that he had made 30573 and I quote false or misleading claims.

How do you begin to go back that checking that number statements me what happened was that fact-checking team and so we we we basically the same sound and also he sent before and he says that over and over and over again so so much.

Because the factory because they're very factored of you seldom time exactly.

It's just a few Washington Post headlines for the past 4 years.

How fast is Donald Trump trump will try to run a fascist dictatorship trumpism is American fascism know that some of those mail.com not from the news pages, but the comment pages and is a very important distinction between the two is actually more than distinction of the newest present is in Britain but do you think the postman other parts of the media well? I'm glad it's nothing responsible and I am not involved in the opinion pages and and we have a wide variety looking in our opinion such a sharp divide between an English journalist.

It's very strange idea if you think about to the most powerful newspaper editors in Britain they get most excited about what they can commission on the common pages.

Why do you think it's ethically?

Edith Weston post doesn't know what in the opinion page until he reads in print or sheet responsible for I want us to cover a news with the kind of as independently as we possibly can I don't want to be perceived as the HR allied with any I like your independence.

I think it's recorded where integrity is journalist and I think that helps us go better business jobs professionally and it is it is a United States and ages because I don't do things that little people in this country worry about is whether or not journalism even crusading powerful the best of James doesn't necessarily seem to have the same.

Generation ago so Woodward and Bernstein had a very tangible impact of the downfall of a president some people would say ok President Trump wasn't elected but did the Germans in which closed is misleading claims his falsehoods and his lies actually fundamentally change public opinion didn't have a tangible impact on American and foxy.

Do you think I should be your friend to give the public the the information that they need and deserve to know and they wanted to be engaged citizens and they decide for themselves as the way democracy words.

I think it's not accurate to say coverage didn't have an impact.

I think it may not have had an impact as big as it might have in the past but he also by the way you've lost the election.

I'm not saying that that's was you know it does a result that we thought it's not.

Just tell people what's going on.

We would do the same thing in a democratic administration then and the posters is you know had the same mission with the Biden ministration over the head with the trump administration and I'm looking out people recovering now is a Democrat coverage as it should be and then so that's the way that that's the way the pressure will come on to the change in ownership during your time at the moment pretty good for sales with some estimates suggest that there's been a fool in news consumption since caffeinated new Cycle I'm sure you as you step into retirement if you live with the most caffeinated new cycle of the mall, but there's an estimate that the Fallen news consumption since buy them with annexe around about 20 to 28% is trampoline good for sales.

Driver campaign 2016 campaign and during his administration statement of the American public that felted the you need to be held to account and they were concerned at the rear of the other institutions that they previously could rely on for holding government to account but would not do sell the course.

He was appointed a lot judges to the Courts of Justice of Supreme Court where he wouldn't be holding to account there and they were concerned about the time to do its job when they walked around for institutions in the country into account they saw the only remaining institution and so the other Factor is that there was a sleeveless the alarm alarm so-called new site.

They were spreading false information disinformation recall the information out there deteriorating.

And are important to support staff and they were doing their jobs and and so people stop they have to pay for they wanted to pay for you want that.

They're going to have to pay for absolutely Republican presidential candidate said 22016.

I think the Republican presidential candidate said to television host Billy Bush when you're a star you can do anything you can do anything that story please.

How did the post come to have that tape?

Well, I can't tell you how come on your retired now 2 years ago.

It's all in the Mists of time is exactly how we are I can tell you how we came back, but we didn't Kumbaya be verified it initially the the trump campaign said it wasn't true and then they insisted that we shower to them and we then getting internet anymore so straight away because we were concerned with the trump campaign with you something.

It's proper ability to your drugs and we probably right away and obviously something story and the campaign and very natural way, but then it was quickly overshadowed by James Cummings announcement that they had renewed the investigation of killer clowns.

I know there was some furey and stay in amongst the Hillary Clinton staffers clay felt that the access then they take the you guys had such a huge story ofcourse change show me play me sorry Trump's that story quickly eclipsed the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that included the allegations that trump the revealed classified information to the Russian foreign minister and trump was being investigated for possible instruction of Justice Genesis a Freudian slip how many journeys did you have work on that coverage? What they up to what they doing? I don't know what account was he was instructed to by the way, but he I don't know you know it's probably.

15 something like 15 jun15 journeys doing nothing else other than working on trump and Russia that's it suggests to me that the glory days are still with us is encouraging.

What will they do in practice to try and stand this difficult how many of them were in Russia am in Washington at team? Obviously we have with reporters.

They're very good sources and they work the sources of sources that and you know the run the gamut from YouTube to the legal to government.

Post has been able to sustain this number of very complex the best of Genesis without the financial backing of Jeff bezos is having a fire Dawson 2013/2014.

We would have been on a on a shame that we previously be declining resources staff all of that I don't think that we would have been as powerful air force as we became because we achieved commercial success of the other operation was successful and we were able to achieve stability reinvest of little earnings because your faces doesn't need the dividends and and so yes, I think I've made a tremendous difference.

I don't think we would have.

Any kind of the word for the trump administration if we continued on our previous you mentioned it in Miami when your journalist are you were very interested in the story Miami the rootedness of the Miami Herald in Miami when you enter the Boston globe you were thinking about the stories in Boston at the Boston globe could lead on when you went to the Washington Post did your initial editorial revision for centre what it being a Washington paper for Washington insiders that it's USP being want you about Washington because we can come on to watch f-pace wanted to do about it, which I think was a bit more, but I'm getting it washed and thinking global.

Well, that was the that was the institutions focus of the time.

It was your focus when you took the job, I was hired to do that.

I was tired basically to the strategies that they are determined for the Post Google app, so I can only afford to the original newspaper and so they were drinking in order to do so of course the Washington Post recover government and politics in Washington but we would be covering our region of Maryland Virginia and so and so that's what we focused on where and when did pair of you you and Jeff bezos first sit down and discuss the papers Direction Where We sat down with the name of the post the time and made very clear right.

Strategy of being born about Washington of the original made in the right strategy for a different era of money over the years, but it wasn't the right because we are taking all the payment that the earlier had offer and I was just trying everything until her business and we were taking what he called the gift of the internet.

We were a bit mystified as to what that was at the time about the explained.

I think I clearly the gift was Worldwide Distribution and virtually no additional cost because of the internet we don't have papers everywhere in the world and so you are pretending to be national and international and this way because you don't cost any ideally positioned to do so why because we're based in the nations capital because we were good place for that because we had the name Washington Post a good name for going national and even international and because we had.

Heritage there was well defined in the public's mind going back to Watergate and dark corners of holding government institutions and individuals unable to run after a rotary to try to figure out who you know I belong to him about working with someone who barely knew strange place ready to go for the new relationship.

Not just with anybody well when I became editor of The Miami Herald I was with somebody darling.

You want everything working for someone I barely know and I want to be came out of the Washington Post someone I barely news and then when I was working someone so I just kind of used to it.

So you have one.

Bullets for the wayward you've had with that relationship publicly, but I wonder if you were here now reflecting on it somebody is on whether it's it's sometimes uncomfortable place for a journalist to be being owned by how to video by someone who has an incense seeing their competitors denigrated as if you had an affair he knows that he thinks that the paper should have its independence and integrity he didn't buy the post for any other reason for the address of Amazon or anything like that.

It doesn't need it doesn't even help with the Washington Post and and so you bought it from the Mission of the washing clothes and so that all letters cover Amazon sterling dependence as well.

I can tell you this I always the reason favourable and he doesn't come.

Doesn't he doesn't criticising ceiling because never done suggest any stories and his competitors know that we covered them as well as competitors.

Well regardless of the field in cinema is in retail and cloud Computing the world space commercial space you name it they all know that we cover them independently and otherwise.

I wouldn't talk to us and bought the post in a personal capacity not it wasn't Amazon bought it is very much basil.

You step back is Nancy step back from running Amazon on a day-to-day basis, but says he wants to spend more time with on the Washington Post in the future.

Do you have any I know you've left the words that mean? Can you translate that bass?

Spend much more time on his commercial space Adventures on my part.

Obviously, I don't think so you know enough to act as time of the washing the clothes frankly and get involved in the journalism practice and policies and skier quietest is already involved in the business side of things so maybe a little bit more time on it, but my guess is if you would spend more time together Kate commercial space Adventures whose idea was it to the tagline democracy dies in darkness Bob Woodward what a judge said I'm a warrior Gate which was democracy dies in dark in the years to say democracy dies in darkness we.

Basil spell Tibbles important for us to have sort of a model with encapsulated are fishermen the distinct role that the washing clothes plays and and American generals in American Society in the nations capital and indoor corners and all that we went through.

I don't know 9 months of deliberation thousands of thousands of options.

I don't think there was the beginning with exactly what we were doing but I think to give up but just didn't want to give up and then finally you know that Fraser going around it was part one of the options, but as you might imagine people a little concerned about death and Darkness being part of our model not exactly what you would typically from an advertising company is it yourself but whatever mission is to say that I have some hesitancy about as well because of death and darkness.

It was just very gloomy.

Using late, but it made a sound sounding like a note to self add gelatorious sound like a cold so we couldn't come up with any phrase that didn't make it.

So you know or a cult-like so we opted for Darkness and you know what's going to resonated with a lot of people instantly have a recollection.

I think I think been back are your your contemporary at the new what time since I think he said I think I love Gotham quote or something then use rooms to hire people fun investigative journalism supposed to exist as a physical page using a print form in 10-years time.

Analogue people predicted a very loyal readers, but you know if I guess the answer would be now.

I think that you know we can see the train lines for printing newspapers are all down and are they come down in your types of them down down.

You know that's just how people live their lives these days people getting her information on traditional means typically a mobile phone and social media and that's how it is.

So that's fine with me because wife what I think is important for journalism that we practice not be delivered on a piece of paper or delivered on a computer screen now you mention social media.

How much does an editor today match will cause the one you're that starting out, how much does an editor today control the social media output of their staff?

Well, I'm not agreed to control and I think the staff needs to control themselves and the truth and everything that we do we apply Aesthetics we have publishing print online if people do on the radio station follow certain standards of behaviour if they are you know what time and and if there's no exemption for this no exemption from here that says when you're on social media that you're better off say whatever you want.

There are no standards that apply.

I think that's crazy position a crazy position to take know when you post social media.

There's no editor there.

There's nobody would occur when your publishing you are online site or friend somebody would be reviewing your story make sure that we met all the standards that you know, what is the headlines in contact.

What's the bottle that we saw what she knows that and all that where we placing? What's the hierarchy on the on a print page? What's a higher ground on a digital page on social media? It's important that they exercise coronavirus strange because they are perceived as representatives of organisation and they wouldn't have any followers unless they work for organisation so therefore.

I think they have an obligation to abide by the institutional standards assistant of you had a lot of your time.

Navigating a generational or or cultural divide within American news rooms and perhaps at the Washington Post to between those who defend free speech and those who want to see the widest possible range of using the paper on the one hand and then on the other hand those who think certain Vue Sur off limits.

American individuals with Martin Vulcan so so you know there's to play out and obviously over the past year with the black lives matter protests certainly within within our nation and that's totally understandable and so you know some of that place.

I want social media some of the place out in another time another time out of mind but what was what was a substantial amount of time was it the fact that they were diverging opinions with you.

So this is a huge.

For the BBC in a national institution which tries to represent the whole of society you have very sharply polarized views about key issues that are key news stories black lives matter could be one example and it's very hard for a single national institution to encompass all of those used because people are very agitated polarised and often younger people feel differently to older people.

How did use a leader Triton t80z shoes to keep everyone happy and keep the washing post coherent was also reflected Society on the wall as you walk into a room in the first one is to tell the truth and that means that it's a process really hard water perspectives and need to be taken into account and we should for to all them all of them.

We have people who staff that helps us recognise all the different perspectives that we should be taken into account but it also says.

Such a thing as a true that is not just a matter of opinion.

You know who holds the most power but it's actually an objective reality objective back and regardless of people's opinions about what the policy the policy should be what have you are job is to try to get it be subjective and to reflect the complexity and to make sure that all Americans and people out of a reflected fairly and honestly and forthrightly or an hour or so, you know people entitled to have their own opinion but we have to do and that is to contact me.

How do I find me if I'm a about the technology Giants which every shape Jones in the past 10 years or so, you spend a lot of time in this.

power with power lies and 32-hole Powerful institutions to account do you worry that the shift of advertising and the eyeballs associated with it to a few technology platforms has made those technology Giants particularly Google or Facebook not just those has made them too powerful in modern, German

I will have an acceptable amount of power.

There's no question about it more than I would like that for sure.

I mean I think they control the platforms on which we operate we basically have to abide by the rules at same time they provide a platform for us to reach a large number of people not be able to reach otherwise and then you know if we are just depressed newspaper only people in the Washington region would be able to read us or we have to deliver the physical paper are the reality is that Facebook Google or Apple or holders provide platforms for us to reach a large number of people everywhere in this country and everywhere around the world and that's a big advantage over there.

It is not well competition.

They don't face a lot of competition and so they exercise enormous amount in Northern Ireland of power.

And there is an equal curly underneath your relationship between us and down and highly unequal and so yeah, I think it is in or do you like the proposals that come out of Australia where Australia would require them these platforms to pay for Jones and more directly on what's happening in Australia and then I understand the idea of payment.

I mean Facebook does pay some news outlets already and United States including and the amount of money should be really hard for me to say I don't know that politicians should be defining how much that is and I think it's important to keep in mind as I guess Facebook's initial response make clear is it called Facebook and utility you can't necessarily for your work now on Facebook said they weren't 12.

Organisation or organisation because so what is the proper? What is the proper exchange there? How much money should be how much should we be compensated for a work appearing on Facebook on Google on an apple and other platforms is I think something to be something really really cute and worked out.

I don't know what the answer to that is because they can survive survive without and and then I'm sorry this is just not economic for us and people use Google to open up open up Google to Alston sites are better not any money.

Don't want any money for Political purposes happened on Facebook so I think we have to I mean.

I think these platforms have been able to get all the revenue and technology the responsibility and I'll for the work and a lot of news organisations struggling to survive so I don't think there needs to be an exchange of fun, what number should be I don't know and I haven't seen to tell you truth.

I haven't seen good study about the whole power won't come up with somebody would come up with the number.

I've heard such a study and I think there are people who are to do that and it would be worthwhile.

I will make you for saying only 66.

I really appreciate that so you just elected president news about 11 years old.

Stay Active and involved for a professional.

I don't feel that there is it we advocate for herself terribly well, I think the public really doesn't understand channels and doesn't understand journalist has has stereotypes operating under stereotypes of who we are and what we go better work with your dad.

We really need to speak up or cells and speak up in an effective way which I hope I do and and do it more often.

I think we we have one of the reasons that the public has the price for grabbing into Marcus is because we kind of taking herself for granted and we taken for granted that the public understand what we do and they don't and we have to explain our selves.

And I would like to be a big part of that.

I play is helping to communicate to the public how we go that work.

Why we make decisions that we do and I hope that makes a difference because frankly when I can have it when I can have democracies unless we have a strong and free breast democracy without a strong so I think it's important that people like myself dedicate themselves to ensuring the future and in that way ensure that they are you going to have you just very funny.

How do you want to watch behind you how do you want people to think of your record in German what's Party band's Legacy

You know about my life just so why people do feel that you play the significant role in strengthening a number of different organizations and in strengthening and strengthening a hole and being a voice for our profession in my time as a journalist that I help us fulfill our core mission of holding power to account and Marty Baron now the formative the washing clothes.

Thank you very much indeed for your time.

Thank you.

I appreciate it.


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