The news media is facing unprecedented crises: plummeting public trust and unrelenting attacks from the president of the United States. How do the “merchants of truth” navigate this new world? Jill Abramson worked as executive editor for The New York Times and offers an unparalleled view into the story of the news business, fighting for survival through a series of crises—first the digital revolution and then the president’s unprecedented war on the press.
Abramson’s new book, Merchants of Truth, profiles four powerful news organizations as they grapple with upheaval: Buzzfeed and Vice, upstarts that captivated young audiences, and The New York Times and The Washington Post, two legacy papers that were slow to adapt to digital changes. Each struggled with crises in business, technology, resources and credibility.
Abramson’s book focuses on the digital revolution and disruption of the news business, but the last sections of the book focus on fight for facts during a presidency whose war against journalists as “enemies of the people” has fueled public distrust of news sources. While the industry changes, the vital question remains: Can an informed press stand its ground?