“He was fearless:” Competitors, former colleagues, industry critics size up Martin Baron’s contributions to American journalism

Harvard Gazette

May 25, 2020

By Christina Pazzanese

In a deeply competitive business not known for magnanimity, top editors, publishers, and media critics explain why The Washington Post’s Martin Baron is such an admired newsroom leader.

DEAN BAQUET, Executive editor, The New York Times

What makes these jobs really hard, but rewarding, is today there are only a handful of big news organizations that can play across a whole range of stories. The Post is one of them; The Times is, obviously, the other. And so, you’re talking about getting up in the morning and leading one of the great American news organizations’ coverage of the coronavirus, Donald Trump, the fight to succeed Donald Trump, the collapse of the stock market, and a possible peace deal in Afghanistan. Those are the five running stories of the moment [in late winter]. And if you’re Marty at The Post, you are running coverage of those five stories, and that doesn’t even count the whole next level of stories … You’re doing that at a time when the way people get their news is changing dramatically, from the era of print to the era of the phone, and you have to maintain one while also changing your newsroom to get ready for the other. If you add all that together, that makes for a job that’s really difficult, really rewarding and exciting, but really hard.

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