Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


The New York Times loses a reporter, the Huffington Post gains an opinion

The world of journalism is crumbling! It’s turning on its head!

Actually, website-based journalism is simply growing up.

Business and economy writer Peter Goodman, one of the New York Times’ top writers, is taking his talents to …wait for it….the Huffington Post.

Yes, Goodman is leaving the “Gray Lady” to work for one of the world’s edgiest, fastest growing major media websites, where he will be the business and technology editor.

In a blog post, Catharine Taylor of calls the move “ More Significant Than You Think.”

Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz is more measured in his post, calling Goodman’s decision “the latest sign that Web sites can compete on an equal footing with media giants.”

Like most coming of age indicators, the news represents neither a sudden shift in power nor a surprising raid of top talent. Just as cable TV grew up to hire away top network talent, just as USA Today expanded and hired away top talent from other, “more serious newspapers,” the best journalism websites are hiring away talent from the mainstream media. (The Huffington Post also recently added Howard Fineman from the failing Newsweek.)

Just as significant is the fact that Goodman intends to write “lengthy, deep-dive pieces” and to hire a handful of reporters to beef up the website’s business and technology coverage.

This is just my opinion. Of course, as a blogger, I’m free to provide an opinion. Mainstream journalists usually don’t enjoy this freedom. That also is Goodman’s point.

“For me it’s a chance to write with a point of view,” Goodman told Kurtz. “It’s sort of the age of the columnist. With the dysfunctional political system, old conventional notions of fairness make it hard to tell readers directly what’s going on. This is a chance for me to explore solutions in my economic reporting.”

The media are becoming increasingly divided, between those who continually strive to produce objective reporting, who try to limit political opinion to the editorial and op-ed sections of their websites, shows, magazines and newspapers, and those who freely express opinion as they report the news.

Guess what? Those who freely express opinion are gaining the louder microphone.

And now, they have Peter Goodman.

Guess I’ll have to tune in more often.

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