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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Bezos Breaks His Silence On WP Turmoil, Backs Battered Publisher

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire owner of The Washington Post (WP), has broken his silence on the mounting turmoil within his newspaper.


Bezos expressed support for maintaining high standards at the storied publication as questions swirl over the ethical integrity of its new publisher. I Photo: Kim Shiflett, NASA Kennedy Flickr



He expressed support for maintaining high standards at the storied publication as questions swirl over the ethical integrity of its new publisher, Will Lewis, Oliver Darcy reported for CNN.


“I know you’ve already heard this from Will, but I wanted to also weigh in directly: the journalistic standards and ethics at The Post will not change,” Bezos said in an email to top newsroom leaders, signaling support for Lewis, though not explicitly.



Bezos added in the memo, which was obtained by CNN, that “it can’t be business as usual” at The Post, which has been plagued by financial and audience woes. “The world is evolving rapidly and we do need to change as a business. With your support, we’ll do that and lead this great institution into the future,” Bezos wrote.


“But, as the newsroom leaders who’ve been shaping and guiding our coverage, you also know our standards at The Post have always been very high. That can’t change — and it won’t.”



The memo comes after questions were raised about Lewis, who has been the subject of reports questioning his commitment to the newspaper’s journalistic standards.


The New York Times reported that, during his Fleet Street days, Lewis assigned an article based on stolen phone records. WP reported in a 3,000-word front-page story Sunday that a “thief” who used deceptive tactics to obtain private material had ties with Lewis’ hand-picked incoming top editor, Robert Winnett.



The stories followed reports that Lewis tried to suppress stories at WP and NPR about his role in cleaning up Rupert Murdoch’s UK phone hacking scandal when he served as a lieutenant to the right-wing media mogul.


Lewis initially lashed out, criticizing his own media reporters and launching an on-the-record attack aimed at the well-respected NPR correspondent David Folkenflik, whom he referred to as an “activist, not a journalist.”




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