Atlantic Photos Of The Week – “PBS News Hour” announced Wednesday that Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, will be the next host of “Washington Week,” the Friday public event that is a staple among policymakers in the nation’s capital.
The Atlantic will produce the show, which will be called “Washington Week with the Atlantic.” The magazine will cover some costs and help sell sponsorships.
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Mr. Goldberg, who has been with the Atlantic for more than a decade — the former owner, David Bradley, was hired with the Ponies team in 2007 — said he believes there is still enough of an audience for in-depth analysis. care about. As a result. Problem to make the event successful.
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“The good thing is that there are a lot of bad Americans, and I don’t need everybody to come here,” Mr. Goldberg said. “We only need five or 10 million.”
Ratings for “Washington Week” have declined in recent years, as traditional TV viewership has declined across the industry, and the results have followed. According to Nielsen, the show averaged 845,000 viewers in April, a 22 percent drop from the same period in 2015, when it was hosted by journalist Gwen Ifill. Corporate sponsorships have declined by about 10 percent since 2019, a spokesperson for “PBS News Hour” said.
Mrs. Ifill, an underground black journalist in a white-dominated field, was synonymous with “Washington Week” for more than a decade. She died of complications from uterine cancer in 2016, days after the presidential election. Mr. Goldberg said the prospect of conducting the same program as Ms. Ifill, a close friend, was a heavy responsibility and a major factor in his decision to participate in the program.
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“I always loved the show because I was connected to Gwen in my mind,” Mr. Goldberg said. “So the idea of being associated with what Gwen is doing is very exciting to me.”
After the death of Smt. Sara Just, senior executive producer of “PBS News Hour” and “Washington Week,” said the show will have “a different group of reporters in the roundtable every week.”
“We believe we have a responsibility to reflect the true diversity of America as broadcast journalists in different ways, those who tell the stories on camera, those who work behind the scenes, the voices and stories involved in those stories. We choose to tell the subjects.
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“Washington Week” is a staple among policymakers in the nation’s capital. Credit… Justin T. for the New York Times. Gellerson
In 2017, Mr. Bradley sold his majority stake in The Atlantic to Emerson Collective — the umbrella company founded by philanthropist Lauren Powell Jobs — and the company has focused on growing its digital subscription business in recent years. The Atlantic now has more than 900,000 combined print and digital subscribers, with an estimated 700,000 more by 2020.
Jesse J. Holland, associate director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, said traditional public affairs shows are not the best way to monetize TV news. But he added that fair and thoughtful analysis is essential to democracy, and that the challenge facing “Washington Week” is finding an interested audience.
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“If your goal is to make money, that’s not the way to go,” Mr. Holland said. “You’re going to use biased analysis that has an opinion. That’s not necessarily the best journalism for the American people, but it’s what the American people are buying right now, especially as we head into the 2024 presidential election. getting closer to
Benjamin Mullin is a media reporter for The Times, covering the big companies behind news and entertainment. More information about Benjamin Mullin
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The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, is the new host of the PBS Washington Week program, which will now be called Washington Week with the Atlantic. I spoke with Jeff about this new partnership, which premieres tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET on PBS.
Tom Nichols: Both Washington Week and The Atlantic are institutions in their own right. What is the purpose of joining such a program? Perhaps instead of saying “this kind of program,” I should start by asking what kind of program you envision.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: I’m directing what I think Washington Week does very well: I want to interact with the journalists who actually report the events of the week, so that the audience not only knows that What happened but how are those stories. It is said.. We need time for a more detailed conversation with the people who were there and who will tell us what happened. One of the best things about this program is that it allows people to speak whole paragraphs, and I’m a big fan of paragraphs.
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Jeff: That’s right. I’ve been on a million panels on TV and at conferences — sometimes I won’t be back, unfortunately — but this is my first trip as a moderator. So I suggest you watch it, to see if I can read from the teleprompter. The jury is out on this question.
Tom: So now that you’re going to be on the other side of the table, how do you plan to open the show? What will the format look like?
Jeff: I hate to make it so simple, because, you know, I’m a complicated person. But the goal here is to find the best minds in the press and have them analyze what’s going on. I want people to feel like they’ve actually learned something after watching it.
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Tom: Well, I don’t think it’s that simple, but it does seem like a callback to the older, more conversational tradition of news programming in the pre-cable era.
Jeff: To some extent, it is. Some television news and public affairs programs have become too crazy for my taste. The audience is bombarded with lights and buzzers during a short segment where six or seven people – or more – try to make a point as quickly as possible. And some of them are biased hacks. A group of real conversational journalists is rare on television these days, and we’ll take the time to have a more patient conversation.
Jeff: Look, there are a lot of people in this country. Some people want TikTok; Some people want the Atlantic. Some people want both. Of course, not you or me – even if you’re a TikTok star, of course. But I’m sure there’s a vein overlap. At The Atlantic, we know our readers have a strong attention span. So are the audiences for Washington Week and the PBS News Hour. And see how many people will listen to long podcasts and read long articles. There is ample room for detailed discussion to be presented in the program.
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Tom: Wait until I get my cat on TikTok. But back to television, this obsessive activity is largely driven by prejudice. The show invites partisan supporters to tackle complex issues in five minutes, and while I’m not guilty on that score, I agree that it can be annoying. However, elections are coming up, and people’s attention will be focused on 2024. How will Washington Week handle what will be a strange year with The Atlantic?
Jeff: It’s not just a weird year; It was an election like no other in American history. Former presidents face state and federal charges against those who beat them, and could end up in prison or the White House. But both Washington Week and The Atlantic are neutral. The motto of The Atlantic is that we are “not a party or a group” – but we care deeply about the idea of America, about democracy and its survival, and I want to bring that concern to The Atlantic with Democracy. Washington Week.
Tom: Usually you’ll talk to other people in the media, and people don’t trust journalists. Do you think there is a problem for the show?
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Jeff: The public doesn’t trust many institutions and especially journalists, yes. We live in a time when many of us think badly of others. This mistrust makes it difficult to stay informed, and that’s bad for democracy. That’s part of why it’s important not only to cover the story, but also to explain how to watch it
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