In May, Sally Buzbee became the first woman to be hired for one of the most coveted jobs in journalism: executive editor of The Washington Post. Since then, Buzbee has overseen ambitious digital investigations into the Jan. 6 capitol attack and how countries’ climate pledges are based on flawed information. But she’s also had to tackle the bigger challenges that come with running a newspaper today: a turbulent media landscape shaped by political polarization, social media and the spread of misinformation. Buzbee and The Washington Post have already had to address some of these issues: The paper issued corrections last week to a handful of Steele Dossier articles they published in the past few years. The paper has been sued by the reporter Felicia Sonmez, who has alleged unfair treatment by editors.
In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Buzbee on her agenda for The Washington Post. “I don’t want to give up on any reader,” she says. “Certainly there are people who are not going to trust the Washington Post, but I don’t think we want to give up on big swaths of the world.” They also discuss whether it’s possible for the Bezos-owned publication to cover Amazon independently and how newsrooms can rebuild trust with communities that believe they’re biased.