Harry Jaffe Botches Secret Lunch Story
AdWeek’s Lucia Moses, who first reported the story, writes that the meeting was about assuaging reporters’ fears about newsroom budget cuts. Hills then freaked everyone out by saying he wants more slideshows and thinks awards don’t matter.
Jaffe, on the other hand, thinks it was called because reporters aren’t getting leadership from editor Marcus Brauchli:
The reason [Dana] Priest and other veterans took a pilgrimage to the top of the business side—without executive editor Marcus Brauchli by their side—is that they were not getting answers from Brauchli and his deputies.
Tough stuff! But then you scroll down and find Jaffe backtracking big time on the Brauchli stuff. Amusingly, he calls this an “update.” Certainly not a correction! Emphasis added.
UPDATE: With apologies to Marcus Brauchli, upon further reporting, I have discovered that Brauchli knew that Post reporters had set up a meeting in April with general manager and president Steve Hills. It was not, as I insinuated, an end run around Brauchli, Post executive editor.
Contrary to my Thursday column, some Post journalists, including those who met with Hills, see Brauchli as a champion of the newsroom battling budget cuts and buyouts. The reporters who met with Hills wanted to press their case for preserving the integrity of the news operation.
I stand by my reporting that they were disappointed with Hills’ reaction, and that the Post is fundamentally confused about its mission and future.
So I know the thrust of my story was wrong, but the stuff you could get just from reading AdWeek—I stand by that.