Monday, January 27, 2014

Details Emerge on New Ezra Klein News Site

Politico reports:
Ezra Klein, the former Washington Post blogger, will launch a new news site with the backing of Vox Media, he announced Sunday.

The "new publication" will focus on providing readers with "the crucial contextual information" that is so often lacking from news coverage, Klein wrote in a statement on the tech-news site The Verge, which is also backed by Vox.

"Today, we are better than ever at telling people what's happening, but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what's happened. We treat the emphasis on the newness of information as an important virtue rather than a painful compromise," Klein wrote.

"The news business, however, is just a subset of the informing-our-audience business — and that's the business we aim to be in," he continued. "Our mission is to create a site that's as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it."

In a job posting on the Vox Media site, Klein says the site will feature "regular coverage of everything from tax policy to True Detective, but instead of letting that reporting gather dust in an archive, we'll use it to build and continuously update a comprehensive set of explainers of the topics we cover. We want to create the single best resources for news consumers anywhere."

Melissa Bell, the former Director of Platforms at The Washington Post, and Dylan Matthews, a member of Klein's "Wonkblog" team, will join Klein at the new venture. Matthew Yglesias, the Slate blogger and a longtime friend of Klein's, signed on with the project last week.

Klein's long-anticipated departure from the Post was announced last Monday. Klein had proposed creating an independent, explanatory journalism website with the Post's backing — including a multiyear budget north of $10 million — but the Post declined[...]

Sources familiar with Klein's negotiations at the Post said he plans to hire at least three-dozen editorial staffers at the new venture. The job posting calls for "writers who are obsessively knowledgeable about their subjects... D3 hackers and other data viz geniuses who can explain the news in ways words can't. ... video producers who can make a two-minute cartoon that summarizes the Volcker rule perfectly ... coders and designers who can build the world's first hybrid news site/encyclopedia ... [and] people who want to join Vox's great creative team because they believe in making ads so beautiful that our readers actually come back for them too."
Vox is headquartered at 1201 Connecticut Ave NW in Washington, D.C.

According to Wikipedia, Vox raised about $40 million in total funding. A Series A funding was led by Accel Partners in 2008, Series B by Comcast Interactive Capital in 2009, Series C by Khosla Ventures in 2010, and all three participating for Series D in 2012. Other funders are Allen & Company, Providence Equity Partners, and various angel investors, including Ted Leonsis, Dan Rosensweig, Jeff Weiner, and Brent Jones. According to sources, the latest round, in May 2012, valued Vox at $140 million.


  1. If I was Jon Stewart or on his team, I would hardly be able to wait to make fun of these boorish clowns.

  2. I have a suggestion for the new site's name: Wankerblog